Sunday, April 3, 2011

Learning to Drive: The Backseat View

My sister is learning to drive.

Let me rephrase this.

My baby sister is learning to drive.  Her goal is to get her license when she turns 18 next month.  It's both exciting and scary on many levels.

So as she's learning to drive, I've been relegated to the backseat.  Not that bad of a thing - it gives me a chance to crank up my iPod and stare mindlessly out the window at the beautiful scenary.  A nice change of pace, one could say.

Except for the fact that she's learning.  She's getting better, don't get me wrong.  But it's a little scary at the same time.  Sharp turns, breaking, accelerating, the whole nine yards. 

Everything that I once had to learn how to do.

It makes me think of my own driving experience.

Learning to drive was scary for me as well.  I was clumsy, kutzy, and timid.  Going above 40 miles an hour was beyond my comprehension.  Some of the more memorable experiences included:

~ Learning to drive my dad's manual 1995 Ford Focus before it bit the dust

~ Killing said manual on our apartment speed bumps and getting told to "Get off the fucking road" by some random jerk

~ Learning how to night drive in the Jeep on the back roads

~ Nearly hitting a herd of elk on said back roads

~ Driving on Thanksgiving day through the snow and almost plowing over a "Ped X-ing" sign

~ My mom telling me to gun the engine and then break and turn at the same time in an empty parking lot on a hill

~ Me not turning fast enough or breaking hard enough and almost sending us rolling down the hill

~ Getting honked at countless times by random strangers

But even though my parents were both white knuckled and my sister was dying in the backseat, I made it through and got my license with flying colors.  I now drive happily and with confidence.

It's going to be the same with my sister.  As soon as she gets the hang of it, she'll do great on the road.  It just takes practice.  And when she gets there, it's going to be awesome.

One thing I know for sure though: When I'm married and have kids, my husband is going to be the one teaching them how to drive.


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