Not afraid

image1096184013.jpgBeth’s stubborn streak can drive me crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have her any other way. Her almost complete lack of fear to speak her convictions can push my patience to it’s absolute limit. At the same time, it’s a big part of why I’m so proud of her. (Probably at least in part because I had none of her inner strength when I was her age – which she finds hard to believe now.)

I thought about this the last time we went to church. It was hard not to. We had an errand to run afterwards, she had a suggestion to make, and spoke right up.

“Dad, Publix (a grocery chain in FL) isn’t that far away. Why couldn’t we just walk?”

As you may know, I’m compelled to admit my faults at every turn. My knee was itching to jerk – telling her that was silly. Walk to the store?

But you know what? It wasn’t silly at all, and I should have known better. Publix was a third of a mile up the street (at the very most). It was an incredible Sunday morning, the kind of day that cries out for attention. A little walk was the least we could do for it. So I quickly bit my tongue and we did just that.

It’s crazy how lazy we can be – jumping in our cars for the shortest trips. I’ll admit I’ve been as bad as many, in part because of where my house is, and the distance we travel for basic stuff – often with little kids in tow. But that’s no excuse for how we use our cars once we get there. How many of us make a shopping trip, then move our cars in quarter mile increments as we check items off our to-do lists?

Look at me. I’ve been making an effort to consolidate trips to cut down on the gas we use. I’ve been recycling everything I can think of – dropping it off when it’s on my way elsewhere. And we’re eating better (your diet has more impact on climate change than you think). But even I’m still a bit brainwashed by our car driven society. I was going to get in my car and drive less than a mile up the street for a few non-perishibles. Strictly speaking, It wasn’t even on the way home.

Think about it the next time you’re shopping and you go out to essentially just move your car. Why not just move yourself and leave the car out of it?

Think of this as fair warning. Even if you don’t have kids to answer to, mine’s more than willing to take up the slack.