Saturday, March 6, 2010

Driving with Character

I got a ticket last night and I wasn't even speeding. Turns out that my tags on my license had expired. I had no idea that was the case. Obviously I will be handling this first thing Monday morning. It would have been no big deal if it was just me, heck, I could have even hide it from everyone...well, no, that isn't true...I digress. The point I was trying to make is, things are different when you get pulled over when your kids are in the car. That is what happened last night.

In the past, when getting a ticket without any extra small bodies in the car, I hadn't been so mature about my ticket, just ask my wife. I didn't always treat people respectfully or handle my ticket with much class. So, I always wondered how it would be when the kids were in the car. Would I lash out at them? Would I show my anger? Or could I talk to them with maturity and handle the situation with class? I did all right on this one...I think, guess you'd have to ask my kids on this one. Didn't get mad, answered their questions and made it no big deal. Phew, I passed and I didn't even need a reality check from my better half.

I think the bigger issue here goes back to one of my first thoughts...Could I hide this from everyone if no one saw it happen? I think that is what separates the guys from the dads. I have heard many times the quote that "character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking." I didn't always feel that way. I thought if I could get away with something without anyone knowing, then it wasn't really wrong. Eventually, those lies caught up with me and really got in the way of me becoming the husband I needed to be and the dad I sometime wanted to be. So, when my lies started to piling up, and the kids came along, knew it was more than time to be a stand up dad and husband.

I decided that the legacy I wanted to leave for my family is to be, above all else, a great dad and husband. I couldn't do this by trying to pass off lies as the truth. There is another quote that says, "The faults of the father fall always on their sons"(and daughters). That isn't an option for my family. God has tested me plenty and I know I am far from perfect, but I know with His help, I will continue to be the dad with character.

I have been a dad now for 13 plus years and have had my share of tickets. In fact, I have had one of our kids with me for my last three moving violations. It is kind of scary for me, as my oldest daughter opened the golf box and pulled out my registration without me asking as I fumbled for my license. I asked her how she knew how to do this. She said, "Dad I have done this before, remember." Well...she will be driving in a couple of years, so I guess I can call this a dad teaching moment. That's my story and I am sticking to it. Do I need to quote that last sentence?