Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

The act of not honking April 3, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Faith — dayna @ 11:12 pm

Otherwise titled “Deep Thoughts While Driving (with) Miss Dayna.”

It had been one of those mornings. The type which would surely be hilarious to the outside observer, but to the mommy in the midst, is nothing short of an endurance test. The sole mission the girls and I had that day was to get to the grocery store; yet somehow it was taking forever just to get out the door..

I was tired upon waking. There had already been countless meltdowns by the big girl about who really knows what. When the littler sis wasn’t needing to be held, she was “reorganizing” cupboards and drawers with blazing speed. I was exhausted and sadly unsympathetic.

Picture this for example: all three girls in the hall bathroom. The big sis replies “Oh no, Mommy! I wasn’t hitting you. I was just high-fiving your body.” (I have to admit I cracked a small smile at that one). After a brief discussion of semantics with a three-year old, I turned, only to discover that the tiny one had been busy emptying every last wipe from the container.

Finally, we just did the “cut and run” technique: scrambling out the door with dishes still in the sink, mountains of laundry in the living room, and tiny toyish things littering what seemed like every square inch of floor.

After buckling both girls into their car seats with trembling hands, I literally dropped to my knees on the garage floor, hot tears welling in my eyes. Horrified that I was already so frustrated by 10:30 a.m., I desperately pleaded for strength and patience, calm and quiet.

As we pulled away from the house, I turned on the radio, hoping for a renewed spirit. A few miles into our drive, I complied with the big sis’ request and slipped in one of her favorite CDs.

And then it happened.

Or, more accurately, didn’t happen.

I looked up and the light was green. Good and green. Embarrassed, I hastily pulled away.

And then it dawned on me.

The quiet.

The woman behind me had not honked.

Now, maybe she had been preoccupied too and just hadn’t noticed my lack of timely forward motion.

Or maybe, just maybe, she made a conscious decision not to honk. Maybe she was at peace enough in her day and spirit that she offered me momentary grace, certain that I would eventually see the color change and pull away.

In that very situation, I have been known to lightly “tap” my horn.

You know- as just a reminder, of course.

As if the person forgot where they were. As if they won’t look up at any second and move swiftly forward.

Amazing when you can learn those important spiritual truths, isn’t it?

You see, I honk a lot.

Not literally. Not in the car. But with my words. I “honk” at my family: my husband, the girls. Just, you know- reminding them of things.

As if these are things they don’t already know. Or as if they might not be better off discovering them themselves. As if they forget where they are. As if they won’t look up at any second and then move swiftly forward.

So I’m going to try to practice the act of not honking.

Because I never know whose day it might turn around. Who may be amazed by a simple small moment of grace.

Sometimes, I’m learning, the act of kindness may be the thing I don’t do.


9 Responses to “The act of not honking”

  1. Oh Dayna. I’m such a honker. Both literally and not. And this was a timely read for me. The last couple of weeks I’ve found myself tapping the horn at my husband constantly. It’s been cringe-worthy. I vowed–going in to this week–that I was going to hold my tongue. Maybe not 100% of the time, but definitely more than I have been. Not only will he like me better for doing so, but I’m pretty sure even I will, too.

  2. Meg Says:

    Oh Dayna, I am a honker too…BUT, I have, in the past few months, been trying to quiet my honkings…not silence them all of the time, but make them less HONKY. (sleep deprivation is kicking in…) I am learning, and with that I am seeing that it isn’t always necessary, even though I thought it was…

    Blessings my friend. See you soon.

    • dohadden Says:

      Thanks for weighing in Miss Meg. I respect your parenting so much. I am learning that at the very least honking just doesn’t really help and when I am doing it, it definitely isn’t necessary.
      P.S. You called yourself “honky” 😉 Pretty sure there are multiple meanings for that one.

  3. Oh Dayna. I’m sorry. All I can think about are the “Honkers” on Sesame Street. I pictured them in your bathroom, lying on the floor of your living room, and in your car. Can you tell they were my favorite?

    Isn’t it amazing how such a small gesture can have such an impact on your day? And I admit that I definitely honk at my kids too much. My goal this week is to lay off the horn a little 🙂

    • dohadden Says:

      Hilarious Becca! I had to google your “Honkers” and I’m glad I did. Maybe the next time the big sis is on the floor mid tantrum I will picture one of those guys myself 🙂

  4. Kristin Says:

    Thanks Dayna!
    I found myself wondering if you were in my kitchen the past few mornings…getting out of the house is always such a struggle. One of the great things about 3 year olds seems to be their ability to punctuate thier most frustrating moments with comments or actions that you can’t help but smile at. “Just high-fiving your body” LOL!!

    • dohadden Says:

      Thanks for stopping by Kristin!
      Don’t you just love 3? They do say the best stuff and ask the most amazing questions, don’t they?
      The getting out of the house manuvers are tricky. By the time all of us are ready, one of us doesn’t want to go anymore:)
      I enjoyed checking out your ‘mountain mama” blog.
      Best wishes to you.

  5. stephanie Says:

    Ever since you wrote this post, I can’t stop thinking about it.

    (That, my friend, is the mark of an excellent post).

    Keep up the good work. 🙂

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