While driving Noah to school yesterday morning, I decided to go MLK Blvd. We were early because I teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8am at Shorter. I had just recognized how few people were driving that way. There seemed to be no traffic, no children on the sidewalks, no buses or carpools had come on the scene yet, so I was traveling at 50 mph. And then suddenly I saw a motorcycle cop with his little radar detector aimed at me and immediately he flashed his bluelights and pulled out behind me. I said “uh oh, the policeman is pulling me over.” Noah said “Mom, are you going to have to go to jail?” I said “no” and then he asked “are you going to have to pay a lot of money” and I said “yes.” He said “well, Mom, were ya speedin’?” About that time the policeman came to the window and stoically asked for my driver’s license and I humbly handed them over. He proceeded to tell me I was going 50 and the “school zone” reduced speed applied to the time of morning I was traveling so the limit was 35. I said “I’m sorry.” He asked if I would like to see the radar indicator and I said I had no doubt he was right and I was simply sorry; had observed there was no traffic, no children out on the sidewalks or crosswalks, and simply failed to even think about the reduced speed, yet I was without excuse. He softened as he saw I was not offering an argument or defense and said he was lowering my speed so that it wouldn’t go on my record or cause my insurance to increase to which I responded in all sincerity “Praise the Lord! There is mercy!”
Noah is in the backseat gripped by the whole experience and saying things like “I’ve never met a policeman before. Mom, can I show him my new toy and talk to him when ya finish, please?”
So upon signing for my ticket I asked the nice policeman if he would speak to my son. His expression truly warmed and he said “yes, I will” so Noah held up his new GI Joe and his aircraft and initiated a conversation with “that motorcycle policeman.”
Then as we pulled away Noah said “boy, he sure chased us down didn’t he Mama?” And I said, “well, no not really, I immediately pulled over when I saw he was wanting to stop me.” And then Noah said “well, he sorta chased us down didn’t he Mama? You were really speedin’ weren’t you?”
So as we traveled along I was feeling a little weary, not only would I have to pay a fine, I would be arriving to teach my 8 o’clock class literally at 8am, Noah began to ask where I had to pay money and how much and why. He was really amused by it all and I found myself explaining I would have to pay at the court house which Noah then referred to as the chord house. Uhhhh, the life I live with that curious and inquisitive little guy!
As we pulled into Unity Christian School, my little kindergartener asked “hey Mom, can I tell my teacher and my class you got a speedin’ ticket?” And I simply answered yes. Might as well give permission instead of cause that jubilant little guy to stumble because I’m absolutely sure he couldn’t have held that information to himself for any amount of bribery or threat!
When I picked him up at Noon, I had to ask the teacher what he said and she smiled sweetly as she responded “he told us at least 5 times that you got a speeding ticket and then all of the children would ask how fast you were driving and Noah would say “She was going REALLY fast!” And such is life being the Mom of Noah Stiles! After all he still contends I swam with phirhanas after learning that some of our church friends had swam with dolphins on vacation when he was 3.