Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Yesterday I had to take Double Shot to the dentist for a root canal on one of his front teeth. While I was in San Diego at my Grandma's Memorial and Mr. Macchiato was in Ohio for his Grandma's funeral... Double Shot was messing around with his buddies and took and elbow to the teeth. I took him in to have it checked when I got home. The dentist thought we might have gotten lucky... Nope. A week later it changed color. So much for all that orthadonture. OY!!!
On our way home we were joking around and laughing. I was driving a tad fast. I came over a hill to a light that was yellow... I would have had to brake hard to stop so I sped up. I was dizzy yesterday and stopping like that might have made my head spin. Double Shot gave me a hard time about it and we laughed some more... that is until I caught sight of the red and blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror. I pulled over.
As the officer made his way to my window I dug around in my purse for my license wondering how bad this ticket was going to be... and how mad Mr. Macchiato was going to be about it. I smiled at him and he gave me a look that made me laugh nervously.
Police Officer: Do you have any idea why you are being pulled over?
Me: Ummm... the light back there? (more nervous laughter)
Police Officer: Is there anything funny about this?
Me: No Sir.. I just... we were just laughing and having fun... and I came up on the light fast...
Police Officer: You were a good ten yards behind the line when the light turned red and you sped up.
Me: Well, yeah... to get through it.
Police Officer: You want to give me a reason why I shouldn't give you a ticket?
Me: (more nervous laughter) Well... (staring at him thinking what the heck does he want me to say?)
Police Officer: What is so funny? You find this funny?
Me: No, I just don't know what you are wanting me to say.
Police Officer: Tell me why I shouldn't give you a ticket!
Me: What? I ran the light... you should give me a ticket.
Police Officer: (looking at me like I'm from Mars) You aren't making this easy. What is your driving record like?
Police Officer: When was your last ticket?
Me: About seven years ago.
Police Officer: What was it for?
Me: I ran a red light.
Police Officer: (Throws his hands up in the air while shaking his head then he just looked at me for a moment) You've made this very hard. Look, I see you've got your son there. This would be a $160 fine and four points. I'm not going to give you the ticket... because you told me the truth. You need to be careful though, okay?
Me: Yes Sir. Thank you.
I then pulled over into the Conoco to get some gas. When I got back into the car I got a text.
Mr. Macchiato: Yo Hot Rod... way to set an example for our son!
Sigh. That last ticket I got right after we moved here. I was talking on the phone to my friend, Lisa, who had been with me when I got a ticket in Lucedale, Mississippi, on our way back from a Women's Retreat in Florida. We were blasting praise music and I was going 94 miles per hour. I ended up having to go to court here and I took Double Shot because we didn't know anyone I could leave him with. He had just turned 10. While we were listening to the other cases he asked me, "Mom, are you a criminal?"
I am grateful the officer did not give me the ticket. I did deserve one. This morning, as I've been thinking about it, I am reminded again of God's grace. How often in our lives do we not get what we deserve? It is much easier to focus on all that we perceive to be unfair in our lives... This morning I am grateful. I am grateful for a police officer that pulled me over and reminded me to pay attention and who reminded me that there are lessons in mercy and grace that are more powerful than just following the letter of the law.