I love it when life brings me situations that become great teaching moments to support some truth I have given my kids. One week my son and I had many conversations about friends and the extended friend circle. The friend topic can be a really hard subject, especially when your kids is the new kid at school and trying hard to build a new friend circle. Sometimes I don’t have specific knowledge about kids or their behaviors so my suggestions that my kid should be careful about spending time with the kid is difficult for my kids to accept because they are rooted solely in my intuition. As a result, I am the recipient of resistance and frustration. I remember having a discussion with my son about my concerns about the danger of hanging out with kids who are disrespectful to adults and who don’t have influences in their lives that give them accountability and boundaries. I told him that there are things in his life that I can’t control, but still give me reason for concern and unrest. He listened and said he would keep my thoughts in mind.
Well, fast forward about a week later on our drive from church to our house. My son had his learner’s permit and he was driving us
home. Most of the ride home, I was reminding him of the traffic laws and asking him if he was aware of certain things happening around him. As we made our way from the interstate to the junction for the highway that lead to our little town, he was a little concerned about the cars approaching the same junction as drivers from a service road. As he checked the merging traffic and acknowledged the uncertainty of dealing with drivers he couldn’t control who often made unpredictable maneuvers in their cars, I said, “Sometimes your friends are like merging traffic in your life. You can’t control them and you really don’t know what they will do next. You have to live defensively just like being a defensive driver.” As I am verbalizing this revelation, he picks up speed and I see that we are over the speed limit just like all of the cars around us. So, my next comment is, “And sometimes you just get caught up in what’s happening around you.” We both laughed as he decreased his speed and he said, “I feel you, Ma.” ‘Nough said. Lesson learned!