It won’t be you, right? You can drive quite well when you’re buzzed. You can expertly send a text message and keep your eyes on the road. You know all of the curves up ahead, and know that your phone dropped just underneath your seat. You won’t kill my kids this summer as you drive drunk or distracted. Of course, this doesn’t apply to you.
But it does apply to you. You could kill my kids this summer.
You could choose to drink and drive. You could choose to text and drive. You could choose to be just a little dumb for a few seconds and drive. You are not the exception. You could be a killer. You could choose to kill my children.
Every day, every night, every weekend, I load my kids into the car hoping I’ll be able to unload them alive.
I buckle them into their correctly-installed five-point harness system, making sure it’s snug and accurately placed. I put my phone to driving mode, check all of the mirrors, and make sure juice and snacks are all refilled before we leave the driveway. I use my turn signals, keep my eyes on the road, and never get in the car if I can’t give driving my full attention.
And yet, I know that if we meet you, none of that will matter.
Recently, our local community was rocked by the death of a young person to a drunk driver. Someone who had just started their life. Someone who was not drinking, was not texting, was not looking away. Someone’s child was killed. You could have been their killer.
To you, it might just be one or two drinks. You might just be a little buzzed.
To you, it might just be a quick text, a lazy phone call, a check of your latest post.
To you, it might just be a couple of seconds looking away from the road, a search for a napkin, a glance to your kids fighting in the back seat.
But to me, it might just be a tiny wreck, no big deal. It might just be me sighing and rolling my eyes at your distracted driving. It might just be me moving to the side to let a police car, with its lights on, pass me to pull you over.
But it could also be much worse. You could end my life, end your life, end your passengers’ lives, end my children’s lives.
Just remember. It’s my kids in that oncoming car. It’s my kids riding their bikes down the road. It’s my kids just trying to get from Point A to Point B alive.
When you choose to make poor decisions behind the wheel, you’re also choosing to end my children’s lives.
My children who like to sing “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” and read stories before bed. My children who yell “cows” every time we drive past a farmer’s field. My children who like to get ice cream at the stand in town after a day of playing. Real children you have the power to take away from this world in just seconds. Power to take away the feeling of their gentle hands and chubby arm folds. Their inquisitive minds and peaceful souls. Their youthful innocence and optimistic outlook. You can take that all away.
And even if it’s not my kids, it’s someone else’s kids. Their babies. Their daughters. Their sons.
They could be your kids.
You could kill them, drunk or distracted driver.
This summer, this year, and for the rest of your whole dang life—do not drink and drive. Do not get distracted while you drive. Because the life you end might not just be yours—it could be mine, it could be someone that’s in the car with you, it could be my kids.
Who do you want to be when you get behind the wheel? Do you want to say no to that drink, or catch a ride? Or do you want to drink and drive—and be a killer? Do you want to send that quick “be right there” text? Or do you want to keep on living your best life, and let my kids keep on living theirs?
Don’t kill them.
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