Pontificating to the captive (okay, so maybe sequestered) audience, sometimes known as carpool, I capitalized on the opportunity to teach my children and their friends the merits of standing up for your rights.

“Yup … Here’s the light where I got a ticket. Uh-huh. Got it in the mail for apparently failing to stop at a red light.”

“You got a ticket??!!” one child oohs. She follows with a whisper to neighboring passenger, “I wonder if she’s told Dad?!”

“I can hear you. And yes, I told your father. I would tell him no matter what. And often, I’m wrong. But… I did not deserve the ticket. See those cameras up there?” I ask while pointing to the traffic lights in the distance and the white video cameras perched on top. “Well… they took my picture all right. Yeah, they took it of me turning right on red … which is legal … and my brake lights were clearly illuminated, proving that I did in fact stop before turning.”

“They sent you the picture?!” more ooohhs.

“Yes!” I shuh-d back, “and I’m going to use it to prove my innocence… Yup… Right on red…A legal turn… I’m SO not paying that ticket. It’s important to stand up for what is true,” I continue, not sure who’s even listening at this point. I sometimes tune myself out, too. “Don’t just let things slip. … Yes, it might be easier, non-confrontational, to let it go. Not this time. Nahhh… I can’t wait to prove them wrong.”

From the far back my daughter’s friend pipes in, “Mrs. Wyma, I don’t think that sign is going to help your case.”

“What sign?” I ask.

“That one there.” she says matter-of-factly while glancing at my daughter with a your-mom-is-crazy kind of look.

no right on red

Hmmm… When did they put that there?

“Yeah,” she continues, “and they have one more further up with orange flags on it.”

“Mawwmm!” the kids jeer.

“Well…” I compose myself. “I’ve never seen that sign.” I really hadn’t! I’m not sure when they added that sign.

Oops. So much for my soliloquy on the merits of justice and stating your case. I guess I can always spin it to the merits of paying attention to the road while you’re driving. Or… keeping an eye open because you never know when your familiar old stomping grounds might change.

Hmmm… sometimes it’s better to keep my mouth shut. At least I provide constant entertainment for their friends.

And they do love me, despite my wackiness. My little Future Hoarder of American solidified it last night as he crawled on top of me,

“I love you mom….” he cooed. “I love you more than the solar system.”

mmmmm… so yummy.

Then he looked at the television and gives me the highest compliment of all, “Yes! I love you more than American Idol.” He loves music.

’nuff said. I’ll stick with that one.

Thanks for walking the road with me.


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