My kids and I were in the car early one Saturday morning, running late to one of our many activities. I complained about how we were always late and that we had so many places to be. That day there was gymnastics, followed by football and cheerleading, followed by swim lessons, a birthday party and then a play date.
My son, who is 7, replied very accurately, “Mama, you signed us up for all of this. We didn’t.”
He was right. He didn’t want to do all that stuff on Saturday – his day off from school. I made the decision to sign my kids up for all those things and kept them busy all day long.
As a parent trying to do all the right things for my small children, my son's comment reminded me that my little ones aren’t responsible for most of the decisions that are made about their lives. From their schedules to the food they eat to what they wear – their father and I have the final say.
But as important as the choices I make for my kids are to our family, they pale in comparison to the choices that are made at the state and national level that really impact the opportunities that will be available to them – and every other child – in the future.
One of those choices is whether we, as a state and a country, support investing in our transportation infrastructure.
At first that may sound like a stretch, but it’s not.
As you know, KBT and several partner organizations have been advocating for increased investment in Kentucky’s transportation infrastructure which includes both maintenance and new construction. The people opposed to our efforts focus on the pennies this increased investment may cost Kentuckians today.
What our opposition doesn’t seem to take into consideration is that the investments we don’t make now not only have an immediate impact (the time and productivity we lose sitting in traffic or the jobs that don’t come because of inadequate access) – but long-term implications as well.
Many major projects can take years – even decades – to complete. If we don’t make those infrastructure investments and start those projects now our children won’t have the access they need in the future.
And it’s more than just the individual access provided by the transportation infrastructure. It’s about the access to jobs, education, health care and a better quality of life – no matter where you are in Kentucky – that infrastructure investments bring now and in the future.
Making decisions for my kids and choosing to keep them involved in lots of activities can be tough. I could make a quick decision and stop doing all those things. But these activities teach my kids important skills that will impact them throughout their lives – things like time management, sportsmanship and teamwork.
I just hope that our elected leadership understand the short-term and the long-term reason to support increased investment in infrastructure today so my kids - and yours- can still reap the benefits in the future.