When Teachable Moments Backfire


Those of you that have been visiting the circus for awhile now, know that I am a big wimp.  Particularly when it comes to driving.  I don’t like driving AT ALL.  In fact on all of our grand driving vacations as we go gallivanting around the country, I have driven a total of 0 miles.  Scott always drives, I am always the copilot… I know it’s very 1950s of us.  But it works.  I hate to drive and he finds life in the passenger seat incredibly boring. 

One place around here that I particularly hate driving is over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  By combining my great dislike for driving with a fear of heights, the Bay Bridge is 4.5 miles of pure torture

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Thankfully there aren’t many reasons for me drive over the bridge as Scott will gladly take the wheel.  I only drive over if I have to pick Scott up from a sailing race. 

Last week, after my blog post,  a friend told me about a Family Friendly St Patrick’s Day parade taking place on the Eastern Shore.  Since Scott had to work, our going would depend solely on my driving us over and back. 

I really didn’t want my fear to force us to miss out on an opportunity for fun.  So, I invited a friend to caravan with me and made plans to take the circus crew over the bridge.

Unfortunately, if you go in the Easy Pass lane it forces you to go on the side of the bridge that faces oncoming traffic.  SO, in addition to driving on this high bridge with not so sturdy looking guard rails on one side, you have oncoming traffic coming at you on the other side. 

Oh what fun.

I thought as we were driving across that I could use this teachable moment to “be real” with my kids, to share my fears and show them how even grown ups get scared, but I was not letting my fear control me and I was trusting God.

Perhaps next time, I will save my testimony for after we cross the bridge b/c I was then hammered with questions such as, “Why are you scared Mommy?”  “I bet I know… I bet your scared of driving into the water.  Are you afraid of driving into the water Mom?”  “Mom, are you more scared after that tractor trailer drove off the bridge into the water?” “Mom, do you see any tractor trailers?”  “Mom which do you like worse, the water or those cars coming at us?”

“Mom?”  “MOM??” “Mom, why aren’t you answering us?”

Thankfully we made it across the bridge with my sanity in tack and enjoyed a fun time in Easton at the St Patty’s Day Parade.  Afterwards it was time to head home. Me with the kids at st patties parade

On the return trip, I though it best not to risk any "teachable moments".


  1. Oh my gosh..I totally know how you feel! When we drive over a bridge, I just imagine us tumbling down in the ocean!!!!!

  2. Aside from the fact that this is a real fear of yours, (and I think it'd be a fear of mine too) this was a HILARIOUS post. You are brilliant when it comes to weaving your kiddo's words and personalities into these posts about the everyday stuff you guys go through.

    And I love to be the passenger too, if given the opportunity. Ask Crafty P, I'm TERRIBLE getting around town. I always get lost, have to txt or call her for directions, and I'll be real...gotta hold back some less than nice words when in the heat of those moments.

    That bridge looks pretty in the picture, but not something I'd like to see up close from behind the wheel!

  3. Don't you think that bridge is scarier in person than it looks in the pictures? Who makes a bridge so high with NO guard rails (and only two lanes)?!

  4. Truly, I love this post. What. A. Riot. And for the record, anyone with 4 kids that they love and take such great care of is NOT a wimp!

  5. We call that the "shut up mommy's driving" bridge ... the kids know it by no other name. :)

  6. Oh my, Crystal. I was praying after I got your text. As for on-coming traffic, I'm pretty sure that's reason enough for me to dig for some change. But it's all worth it for that super cute picture at the end, right? Right?

  7. Nana lives nearby and is not so afrid of the bridges..
    Just saying!.

  8. Oh dear! I totally hate long bridges. Chris used to tell me of this one he would take from the eastern shore to virginia beach. 12 miles.... I took it once with him and almost died.

  9. This made me LOL - I can totally picture you!, although I think everyone has to admit it is a little scary to drive that bridge. ( btw, I know you love holidays and I was actually thinking about you on this one, because I REALLY couldn't picture you getting excited over corned beef and cabbage - this event seems much more your style :)


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