Alright, there comes a time in your life, when you can no longer hide the fact that you’re getting stinkin’ old. This week is my time. Why? Well, because my lovely daughter started driver’s ed.
Oh boy……yes, I have a child old enough to be taking driver’s ed. Yes, they actually teach it in school like when I was growing up. Plus, this year in the metroplex, they passed a law saying all new drivers now have to take an actual driving test with a Trooper (just like I DID). This kid is really going to have to learn to drive. And believe you me – I wasn’t teaching her. I am terrible driver. I’ll admit that right now. I misjudge distances. I can’t see out of the blind spot. I can’t really see period. I go slow. I go fast. I turn too sharp. I hit EVERY curb.
Yeah, me teaching a kid to drive? Bad idea! So, she’s been in class for what? Three days? Last night, we are driving to Sonic, she is pointing out all these driving tips. I’m thinking, whoa, she knows more than ME. I kept saying, “REALLY? That’s who has the right away? I had no idea. Seriously? You can’t park that way? Wow, that’s a good tip. That’d be real, uhh, helpful. Hmm.”
How embarrassing. Maybe, she will teach me how to drive, ahem.
Do you want to know why I can’t drive? Well, it all started when I was twelve years old. I have two brothers, both older. The oldest would have been 15, the younger one 13, and neither could drive. My mom had gone out-of-town, or to town, or something. They wanted to go to their friend JB’s house about two miles up the country road. Meaning, it was a gravel road paved with tar up til about a mile farther than it’s just sandy dirt and big pieces of gravel. They did not want to walk, and being the conspirators they were, they came up with a brilliant plan.
Mom had left the keys to her van. It was a big sucker. The OLD vans, ya know the conversion ones, with the raised top, huge captain chairs, and about ten hundred feet off the ground. Their brilliant plan? To drive the van to their friend’s house. But wait a sec, see – they had to get it back so Mom wouldn’t know and guess who they
blackmailed elected – Little Arthur (hush, it was my nickname). Problem was, little Arthur did not know how to drive. She sure as HECK didn’t know how to drive a VAN.
That didn’t matter to them. They decided, I would. They decided, I could. They dragged me to the van (in protest) and off we went. We go straight down the road, there is ONE turn in the sandy dirt gravel, then up a hill to JB’s. They get out and point the van back the way we came, on the road to home. All I have to do is go down the hill, take the curve , then head straight to home. Easy. They give me the keys and I climb into the monster. SWEATING. For one, I got four pairs of eyes watching their little sister – to see if she can hold her own – and just BUCK up and drive the beast.
In a mighty bout of bravery, I go. I push the gas. It jolts and rocks, then down the hill the van and I go, bouncing. I have a death grip on the wheel. I’m riding high, thinking I’m all cool, when suddenly it occurs to me…..What if another car comes down the road? What if I (GULP) have to PASS someone? That did it. Two seconds later a car appears around the corner. There are NEVER cars on this country road. EVER. Only today, with ME driving. I panic and swerve into the ditch. FAIL.
Of course, here come my brothers, who were watching me the whole time – running down the hill to me in the van that is STUCK. Stucker than stuck, in a rocky sandy ditch.
“What happened? Why did you go off the road?”, hands were waving in the air, as they scour for damage. Here I sit in the jolapy van, tears in my eyes, upset with myself. I had a chance to be the hero and I blew it. I cried out, “A car was coming!”.
They burst out laughing. Boy, THAT, made me burning mad. Out of the van I flew and down the road I marched. I didn’t need them. I didn’t need this crap. I’m gonna TELL.
I’m still walking my mad off, not even close to back home, when they pass me in the van. Waving, hooting and cackling in sheer joy, leaving ME in a cloud of van dust. Jerks! I watched through the haze as they kept going. I walked the rest of way home. I’m pretty sure I was never talking to them again.
So, that was my FIRST experience. I had a quite a few more, with said van, which I drove to school one day. That wasn’t the brightest idea since my mom was a teacher and another teacher told her. I, also, took my step dad’s Buick joy riding – I was thirteen by then. Still, I didn’t know how to drive. I used both feet. One on the gas. One on the brake. I even hit a mailbox which made a small dent. How in the world did my parents not know?
When I finally had my drivers ed, I had driven who knows how many times. I skipped all the classroom classes for three weeks. It was summer. I had swimming to do. We had our own in ground pool, I was teenage girl, any questions? I think I made one classroom class but talked the whole time. This explains why I don’t know anything about road rules. I did get instructor training in the car. He suspected I had driven before when I put my arm on the back seat, looking out as I backed up. Ooops.
Maybe little Sydney will teach me something. Maybe it’s not in the genes (please God). All I know is my
little grown child is going to be driving – probably better than her Mom.