Monday, September 8, 2014

Backseat driving with Abby

Abby in the Zipper Mobile, more commonly know as Zippy. This thing is
my Grammie M's 1988 Honda Civic. It has no airbags, but ah, the legroom! 

Abby got her driver's permit in August, and since that time, we've been doing a lot of driving. I was smart and let Eric teach her the basics on the backroads near our house, so by the time she got handed over to me, she at least had some idea of what was going on.

Not that it wasn't scary. My life flashed before my eyes three times on that first jaunt we took together. Let's just say that corners were something she really needed to work on.

It's been about a month now, and she's steadily improved in that time, but jeez, you guys, there are so many reasons why this whole ordeal is completely insane. For one thing, while my head knows that Abby is 15, extremely smart and responsible (and just amazing all around), my heart is pretty sure that she is still 4 and should not even be sitting in the front of a vehicle yet.

That's kind of hard to explain to a kid, but that's the crux of the matter. No matter how old my children are, I still feel the need to protect and help them. Letting Abby drive around with all the crazies out there is counterintuitive.

The upside to all this is that Abby and I are spending extra time together, and that's just fun. When she's at the wheel, she decides where we go. It makes me laugh when she worries about wasting gas (um, that's just the nature of the beast, my girl), or when she asks if she can drive, say, downtown, and then is shocked when I agree ("Are you sure that's safe? I might hit a car!"), or how excited she gets if she reaches 45 miles an hour (you'd think she just broke the sound barrier).

Or when she says things like, ooops, Dad would have gotten me in trouble for that...

So hey, there's some good times in all that terror* is what I'm saying. So what if my heart is out there on the road with the crazies? This is just part of Abby growing up and into her wings, and I am quite supportive of that, actually. Her being able to drive, especially when she has her license next year, is going to make things so much easier, on her and on us. So what if this is a precursor to other, bigger milestones? Like graduating from high school... going to college... leaving me sad and lonely and without her. It's probably cool.

*Not so much because I'm worried about her driving, you understand, but because! She's 4! 


onwritingbymf said...

Sigh. I'm sure I'll be there in the blink of an eye. Remember how WE used to love to drive around? Well, there was nothing else to DO in Hood River at 7 p.m.!

Trisha Walker said...

I know, right?! Except those were kind of good times...