Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bonding time

When I was 13 my dad would take me out to the boonies and teach me how to drive. It is one of the fun, happy times I remember sharing with my dad. Because of this I told Ethan when he turns 13 I would do the same. Well, he turned 13 on July 7th and there hasn't been a day that's gone by that he hasn't reminded me about it. It's been hard to make it happen because we live in a very populated area and I'm NOT letting him drive anywhere around here. This past Sunday we were heading to the country, so I made it happen!

While driving down Rte. 11, I found a perfect gravel road. Lining this road were apple orchards, corn fields and just a few houses set way off the road. I pulled off to the side and we switched seats. He was so, so excited! Before he could take off, I made sure he got the seat, steering wheel and mirrors adjusted accordingly and put on his seat belt. From there I had him get comfortable with the pedals. Gas, break, gas, break, gas, break over and over to get the feel of where the pedals are. He told me he might be more comfortable using both feet, which I said was fine for his first time. Once he told me he felt comfortable in the seat and with the car, it was time to put the car in drive!

I was SO, SO nervous! I tried my best not to show it, though. Once we started going, the look on his face was just of pure happiness with a sense of accomplishment. It was then that my nerves eased up and I started enjoying the moment.

The gravel road was about a half a mile long before it ended at a paved road. He drove us from one paved road to the other twice. About half way through he said, "I'm only using my right foot!" Thankfully the only encounters we had were with a cat, groundhog and a tow truck that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Each encounter went smoothly. He didn't overreact or yank the wheel, he just braked a little harder than I would've liked. We even practiced reverse and u-turns.

He pointed out a grasshopper on the windshield wiper and before I could even say it, he said, "DOH! I need to be paying attention to the road." That made me so proud. Really, the whole experience made me proud. He handled the car responsibly and he not only asked questions, but he listened to what I had to say. I was worried that he would have that "I know how to do it" attitude, as that's the attitude he's had with many things lately. But he didn't. For the first time in a long time, he appreciated my experience and knowledge.

It was an awesome experience for both of us and hopefully a memory that he'll remember fondly when he grows up. We both can't wait to do it again!

Deep Throat of the Day: Cross your fingers he doesn't sneak out and "borrow" my car!


Randi said...

I know I'm a mother too when my mind was at your Deep Throat a paragraph up. How fun, April. You're a good mommy.

April said...

Awww thank you, Randi! I've found myself questioning that several times over these past 13 years. You always wonder if you're doing the right thing, teaching them the right way, ya know? Because you hear so much about people becoming fucked up in the head when they're adults due to their childhood. I guess deep down I know I'm a good mom and I'm teaching him the best way I know how. Still, there's that small bit of doubt and insecurity that I just can't shake.

Sassy said...

Fun! My mom used to take us to an empty mall parking lot (back when malls were closed on Sundays!) and let us drive around. It was so much fun..and I found that when it came time to drive legally, I was much more confident and relaxed.

OsShirt said...

Dad didn't take me out until I was in the middle of drivers ed classes, but it worked out nicely as supplemental practice. Plus it taught me how to drive a clutch, which wouldn't be taught in class. I'll never forget those days, and hear the same stories from my sisters from their experiences!

Anonymous said...

My Daughter started driving this year. I am proud to say that she drives rather responsibly. I am also proud to say that my Ex Wife shits a brick every time my daughter drives while I remain cool as a clam.

and she turns to me and says, "Dad, I like driving you around better, you don't freak out at every little intersection"

I respond, "Yes dear, that is reason number 1,254 as to why I divorced your mother"