The other day, I was driving with my four children to church. My six year old was sitting in the back where he could see the speedometer.
“Mom, can you go faster?”
I had to clarify what exactly he was asking. Did he want me to drive faster or was the van capable of going faster?
“Oh, MOM, I know the van can go faster. It says it will go 140″. (He was pointing out the top speed marking on the dashboard). “Will you drive faster, so we can get there sooner?”
Then, I began to explain that there is a law called the speed limit. We can’t go any faster than what the law says.
“Well, there aren’t any police around, so you can!”
“Buddy! That would be wrong. It would break the law. Just because you won’t get caught doesn’t mean you should do it. It is against the law–and God’s law too–to kill people. But do you think we should kill someone just because the police won’t catch us and put us in jail?”
At this point, all the kids let out a resounding “NOOOOOO!!!!” That’s where the conversation ended. Pat self on back for teaching kids important lesson. Drive on, mom.
Five minutes later….. “Mom, you said the word speed limit earlier. What is that?”
“Well honey, it’s the speed that is the most you can go on a road.”
“Then why do you go faster on the way to the store than to the bank?”
“Because speed limits are different for different roads.”
“What is the speed limit for this road?”
“Then does that mean you are breaking the law? The arrow says 60. Are you going to go to jail?”
OUCH! yeah. That was bad. (As a side note, our speedometer is off a little, but not quite that much. I was going 58 in actuality. My GPS lets me know that.)
always go 3 or 4 over was going 3 over. Boy, did I feel convicted…of a crime. My six year old asked “if it is the law that you can’t go faster than 55, and you are, then I was right about the “no police around” thing, right?”
Parenting conundrum. a) Slow down and be late to prove point and relieve conscience. b) Continue at 58 dismiss the overage as the “speedometer is off” to the kids, numb my conscience (and theirs), and make it on time.
Well, I was 10 minutes late to church that night. And there wasn’t a cop around. (I have actually been known to not slow down when in the presence of a cop car–because then you look suspicious.) Will I continue to drive only up to 55 in a 55? I don’t know. Sometimes, I think (especially on the interstate) that it can be dangerous not to move with the flow of traffic. Otherwise, I will probably be the slow one putt-putt-putting along on the country roads, with eight little eyes watching me.