Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I have a death wish...

When my family moved to Texas, I always looked forward to going back to visit my Grandma Olie and Grandpa Elvin's house in the country. I got to run wild, tumbling barefoot in the grass, exploring the woods, wading in the creek and swinging from trees. But one of the best parts about visiting them was the drive to their house, because I GOT TO DRIVE!

You see, my grandparents live (well, and I lived next door to them for the first 9 years of my life) in the middle of the boonies. Rural Oklahoma, where the roads are dirt and gravel, and until very recently, didn't even have names. My address growing up was "Route 1, Box..." Anyway, since policeman are pretty much non-existent in those parts, and traffic is a completely foreign idea--you're lucky to pass 3 cars on your entire trip to town--my parents would let my brother and I take turns driving from a very young age. My dad would pull over, my brother and I would start bickering over who would get to drive first, my parents would yell, and then one of us would climb over the seat into dad's lap. At first, we were just allowed to steer, but as we got older and taller, we were even allowed to do the pedals. And even though we never really drove over about 20 miles an hour, it was still a major thrill.

Recently, we went to visit my grandparents, who amazingly, are still living in their same house in the country, although they are both in their mid-eighties. I was driving along when I decided that it was time to pass along the family tradition.

I pulled over and turned back to Aiden. "You want to drive?" I asked.

"I can't drive, I don't have a driver's license! And I'm not a grown-up!" he replied.

"Well, you won't be driving by yourself, you would just be helping mommy drive."

"But what if the police come? They'll give you a ticket or take me to jail!" he anxiously replied.

"Buddy, we're out in the country, there aren't really any police around," I answered. (Yeah, wasn't that a stellar parenting moment: 'No one's looking, you won't get caught, so it's OK to break the rules.' I'm gonna pay for that one later.)

Reluctantly, he climbed into my lap. I showed him how to put it in gear, and off we went. He was pretty anxious at first, but as he began to relax, he also got distracted, and there were a few near-misses with a mailbox or two. But he was having fun. I am happy to report that our van (and all of us) made it through the experience without a scratch.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Love it! I let Quinn actually drive my car the other day. I pulled into our empty parking lot at church, got out and put him in the drivers seat. I think he thought I was going crazy. Hehehe! I love to torture him.

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