Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feelin' the Need for Speed!

As a teenager, during one of my first driving lessons, my instructor took me on the freeway and brought me back via a residential area. He said that the idea was to see how well I acclimated to the change in speeds. I was able to keep my car going as slow as was legally allowed, but my insides were screaming for me to go faster. To this day, by body tries to dictate my speed based on my driving situation and I have to force my brain to take over. Thank goodness for cruise control.

As often as I use it in my car, I'm horribly opposed to living my life on cruise control. It's true that I want to move much more quickly in my life than is socially tolerable (sometimes even logistically possible) but I don't believe that I need to maintain a safe speed just because traffic around me is congested. I crave change, I feed off of it and if that change can happen quickly, all the better!

I'm a person who tends to believe that if you have to wait before you act (stop, fill out forms, wait for approval, check your oil) you're less likely to take any of the huge and daring risks that make for extraordinary bedtime stories. Sure, you can think before you act, but you can also continue thinking *while* you act. Maybe I should have taken that left at Albuquerque, but guess what, I can get the same place by taking a right at Cheyenne. Life's full of circles and figure eights, so if you miss an exit because you were going a little too fast, take the next one and enjoy the scenery on your way back! If you get there and find that it's not all that you hoped for, head somewhere else. Life gets a million miles per gallon. Take advantage of that. I guess what I'm trying to say is you don't always have to stop to think. You can think as you go.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


When you spend a lot of time in the car with Confucius and Socrates, you're bound to contemplate some heavy topics...especially when you're fielding questions like "Mom, how many days until you die?" and "Are dinosaurs aliens?"

Sometimes, even when you think you know the right answer, it's not entirely clear whether you should pass the knowledge on. How early should a child become aware that their mom won't be with them forever? When one child asks "Who made the bugs?" and the other responds "The bug-makers." is there any need to get involved? The only answer more specific that I could come up with was "The bugs mommies." But then I would find myself in a "Who made the bugs mommies?" circle and end up having to explain why 'turtles all the way down' pertains to insects.

I used to be a big fan of raising my kids honestly, not hiding the uncomfortable truths and letting them grow up submersed in the world. As I've gotten to know them more, I'm starting to think that's a bad idea. Their imaginations play a huge roll in the way they develop. What are the advantages of popping that magical bubble earlier, rather than later? If you tell them something can't be done are you sparing them the wasted time of trying or preventing the possibility that they could find a way to do it?