“Don’t make me stop this car!” The famous words uttered by many a father on a family road trip. As siblings begin to fight, argue, and quarrel, the parental sanity grows thin. But what if dad actually did stop the car? Even dad doesn’t know.
My father actually did pull over the family van on a long road trip. Of course, I was the Chief Instigator of Mischief. Dad uttered the familiar words, “Stop that! Don’t make me pull over this van!” I didn’t stop. Dad did.
As the dad pulled the van over to the side of the road, I was in shock. He was actually pulling it over. I must really be in trouble now. What was he going to do?
Dad got out of the vehicle and came around to the passenger side. I was instructed to remove my seat belt and to get out of the van. Dad put me just off the gravel where he could see me in the mirror and told me to stay put. I began to scream and cry. Dad returned to his seat.
Come to find out, dad was winging it. “You are NOT leaving our son behind!”, snapped mom. “Of course I’m not.”, was dad’s reply, “I just don’t know what to do from here. I need to think.” Dad watched me closely in the mirror to ensure that I was still safe and sound. I was. I was also still crying. After a little while, dad decided that the scare itself was punishment enough. He got back out, put me back in the van, got back in, and drove on to our destination with me securely in the back seat. I didn’t act up anymore on that trip. Or any of the next few trips for that matter. I now always obeyed the warning.