Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Paying Attention (20): retelling the road rage story

In this season that my time is called for in places other than writing new posts, my good Father gave me an idea:  Ponder and notice again the words I've already written once, keep praying the beads of memory in this sacramental life.  I've  moved from a chronology to just the "Paying Attention" part of this project -- to this little confession I shared last year, same week.  You get to play along if you'd like!

road rage [a mini story]

Tell a mini story about something you regret.

Short answer?  I flipped off a guy behind me at a stop sign.  While my kids were in the car with me.  And my daughter was in the driver's seat.

Yes.  I did that.  And I deeply regret it.

Truth is, it felt really good to spend my anger on someone, a stranger.  The man had driven behind us for a few blocks and blasted his car horn at my daughter at two different stop signs.  I'm not sure what was bothering him.  Maybe she wasn't pushing through the intersections as quickly as he'd like.  Either way, he did more than blow his horn, he pushed my buttons.  Big time.

I have not cried behind the steering wheel or cussed more in traffic than the past two years since I've been learning Austin roads.  In short, they infuriate me.  I'm not sure why, exactly.  Many of Austin's roads are notoriously confusing, congested, convoluted. 

Then there's the matter of my own exhaustion.  Insecurity as a mom of teenaged girls and college boys.  If I remember correctly, we were also running late to get somewhere. Probably a church event.

I honestly thought I was protecting my daughter, spinning my head around like a horror film character, crooking my elbow and letting the middle digit stand tall. And it felt really, really good.

Until I noticed my daughter's face.  Instead of feeling protected, she felt embarrassed, stressed, piled on.  I did not help her one bit.  

Then I remembered that the man blasting his car horn at us was also a parent.  There was a baby in a carseat in the back seat of his vehicle.  

Later in the week I remembered that killing in my heart is killing period. My anger was fueled by a thirst for violence.  I wanted violence to happen and this man is the one I decided to spend it on.  

Forgive me my trespasses.

And in your forgiveness, would you help my daughter and me laugh at this together some day?


Since I first wrote this post, not only did Kendra get her license but so did our youngest daughter, Natalie!  We are done forever teaching people how to drive!  I am (hopefully) done forever using violent hand gestures while sitting in traffic.  

I don't think Kendra and I have laughed yet about this story.  Still too soon, I guess.


How about you?
Tell us a mini story about something you regret.

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