Thursday, March 10, 2022

Your safety will never be an inconvenience to me.

 We had a very light snow tonight, just enough to cover the ground by the time A and Parker left for work. Before they left, I asked A if they wanted me to take them to work and pick them up. A, who has driven through a blizzard, laughed at me for asking and said they were fine.

I knew they would be fine. I knew they didn’t need me to drive them. But I asked anyway.

A friend called while they were at work, and I mentioned that I had made this offer. My friend was just stunned that I offered, more so, the friend was offended I would do such a thing. I need to “let them grow up and be more responsible”, “stop doing things for them or they will never learn” and to “quit offering to help all the time.” Ah yes, the awesome unsolicited advice from someone who is not raising my kids. That’s always my favorite.

I let my friend rant and attempt to berate my choices for a couple of minutes. When they were done, I finally took a deep breath and spoke.

As an adult, I mistakenly put diesel fuel into my van. My dad drove hours, very late at night to get me and take me home. He then drove the hour and a half home at 2 in the morning instead of staying the night. Why? Because, as my dad often says, “that’s what dad’s do.”

At 48, he will still offer to drive me somewhere or come get me when the weather is bad, even though I’m completely capable.

He drives my mom to work when the weather is bad.

When I was A’s age, I had already moved out but it never stopped my dad from offering. Gas money, a ride, to drive somewhere…. He still does.

Like A, I’ve always lived in Illinois. We know how to drive in the snow. We know to watch out for other drivers who don’t drive well in the snow. We know that the roads can be unpredictable.

What I hope A has learned, and Parker, is the lesson my dad has taught me over the years – my children’s safety will never be an inconvenience to me.”

My friend listened, disagreed, and moved on with our conversation.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to do this for your children. This is simply my choice for my life, but I want my children to know, that at any age, their safety will never be an inconvenience to me.

I don’t know that my dad intended to teach me that life lesson, but he has and because I know that my safety never is an inconvenience to him, I never hesitate to call him when I need him. It may just be advice or to talk me through a situation, but I know that while I may be a pain in his butt at times, my safety is never an inconvenience to him and I’m so incredibly thankful for that – and for him.

I hope that one day, my kids feel the same about the life lessons I have passed along to them.

I am letting them grow up. I am making them be responsible young adults. I’m also reminding them that as they grow up, it doesn’t stop me from being their mom. It doesn’t stop me from caring. It doesn’t stop me from offering to do something they can do themselves. It doesn’t stop me from loving them.

As I look at what is going on around the world, I am holding my kids a bit closer. I am also passing along life lessons because … “that’s what mom’s do.”

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