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Friday, December 6, 2013

Learning To Drive



I went through it; you went through it; we all went through it.  Equal mix of excitement, fear and trepidation, I suppose.

A whole different feeling for me as I sit shotgun in the passenger seat.  Way different.

Typically, I drive.  I am behind the wheel.  I am in control.  I think I’m a pretty good driver, though I know I scare the living daylights out of my wife, who actually teaches Behind The Wheel.  I tend to go a bit slower than most.  Kim calls it “Driving like an Old Man!”  At least I’ve not gotten a ticket and I have not been in an accident in years.

Our youngest, Emily, is Learning To Drive.  While Kim has taken Emily out on most trips for her to practice, I spend some time in the passenger seat riding shotgun.  There are times when I find myself pushing the imaginary brake.  I know at times I talk too much, maybe distract her a bit too much as I point out things to look for, things to watch for.  Sometimes I nitpick on slowing down or signaling intentions or checking mirrors.  Have to keep a bit more quiet, I think.  I think she’d agree.  I know she’d agree.

I just want her to be careful.  To do well.  To succeed and not get any tickets or get into any accidents.  I guess like any parent.

Learning To Drive.

She really does a good job.  She sits in the seat behind the wheel.  She adjusts the seat.  Checks and changes the mirrors slightly.  She makes sure the wheel is straight before she even starts up the car, admonishing me if I leave it crooked because, “It’s dangerous!”  Yeah, I know.  I get that.  She’s careful.  She thinks ahead.  Observes everything.  And, she really wants to do well.  She doesn’t want to make a mistake.

Learning To Drive.

Just like in life, parents and teachers have to teach our kids.  It isn’t easy sitting shotgun with only the imaginary break to push as our kids take the wheel . . . of the car . . . of life.  We want them to succeed.  We don’t want them to make mistakes.  We don’t want them to have accidents.

And just as they sit in the driver’s seat and take the wheel of the car, at some point, they sit in the driver’s seat and take the wheel of their life.  Scary for a parent, a teacher, a significant other.  Really scary because we so very much want them to succeed.  We so very much don’t want them to make a mistake or get into an accident.

And honestly, I find myself holding my breath a little each time she . . . they . . . sit behind the wheel, each time they wave goodbye, each time . . . 

I watch the clock.  I wonder.  Yes, I worry.  Each time.  Every time.

Learning To Drive.

And just like with a car, our kids need to learn how to navigate the streets of life.  Watching out for this pothole.  Being careful to watch for other drivers . . . other people . . . because we don’t know what they will do.  Making sure they don’t travel too close to the edge.  Somehow helping them navigate down the center, making turns safely, and slowly, and carefully.  Helping them see what lies ahead and to somehow anticipate- ever a hard thing to do, to master.  Just like in a car, we want our kids to succeed and be safe in life.  And it’s never easy when you’re not behind the wheel, when you’re not in control, and with just an imaginary break.  Never easy.  Not easy at all.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe