Saturday, September 12, 2009

I yelled at my kids today*

*Today=August 11, a month ago. *grin*

The title isn't fully accurate any longer; the message remains the same.

The girls and I had a lovely trip to Kohl's and Target today*. I wanted to get out there and do a little school shopping (any excuse to get out there will do!), so I grabbed the chance today*. After packing a light lunch for ourselves, we were off.

I have already drastically changed how I drive the road between Girdwood and Anchorage since Jim became the Volunteer Fire Dept. chaplain. He doesn't go out to the accidents, but he does do counseling for the responders afterwards and he's seen some gory photos. Taking it slower and driving the speed limit no longer feel like constraints. They feel like potential life-saving measures and have made me much more patient on the road. Until recently, with the number of deaths we've had on the highway.

On this particular day, I was fairly tense. Why did I yell at the girls? Because there have been six deaths this summer on the Seward Highway, two within the last week (of today*). Psychologically, those recent deaths have had an effect on my driving and made me a little more impatient than usual with the girls' noise. They just couldn't seem to get quiet despite my requests otherwise and made a lot of noise, especially once we were done shopping. All the new purchases had somehow pumped them up and they were overly enthusiastic once too often.

So, I yelled. Loudly. And for a good length of time.

Did they 'deserve' it? Maybe not the delivery style. But they 'deserved' the message. To listen to my directions so that I can stay as attentive a driver as I can, particularly with such precious cargo within the car (I mean the kids, not the wonders Target and Kohl's had for purchase!).

Driving along the highway is beautiful and deadly. I need my kids to understand that. I can live with a little yelling to make sure they do.