Monday, July 11, 2011

Teach Your Children Well

Teach Your Children Well

I swung by the high school the other day on a summer errand. The lot, predictably, was empty, except for this lone roadster, driving up and back and back and forth and round and round.

A young man sat behind the steering wheel, his eagle-eyed dad riding shotgun. And from the looks of things, the lesson wasn't progressing very smoothly.

This snap, which I blurred on purpose to protect those involved, puts me in mind of teaching my own chicas how to drive. Ella Numera Dos, I vaguely recall, didn't really grasp the concept of merging. She proved that on a trip to The OBX, when we exited near Williamsburg and she drove us right in front of a semi.

Glad that truck driver had good brakes.

Ella Numera Una was no better. She once left her high school boyfriend's house on an cold winter's day. Let's just say she was in somewhat of a hurry, and SUVs don't usually stop on a dime when the street is frozen solid under three inches of ice.

Luckily for the kid, she was in a big car as she blew through the neighborhood stop sign at 40 mph or so. Unluckily for the (parked) Corolla that she T-boned, the chassis separated from both axles and landed about 20 feet from someone's attractive living room picture window.

The car Una smacked ended up looking like a giant fiberglass bug in the throes of an exotic pre-mating ritual. The SUV? Some front-end damage and a smashed-up left headlight, is all.

There's a lesson in these tales somewhere. Teach your children well. Sometimes you'll just have to look at them and sigh. And know they love you.*

*(With thanks and apologies to Graham Nash.)


Tara R. said...

My kids and I have spent many hours at our local community college parking lot engaged in similar driving exercises, in both automatic and manual transmission vehicles. The dad and new driver son have my sympathies.

Amy said...

Aw, I learned to drive in that parking lot. (=

My dad was a really good driving teacher; thirteen years later, I still hear his advice in my head (and I still call him for it, like when I faced my first Pittsburgh drive in the snow).

June Freaking Cleaver said...

Teach them well, and let them learn in a big car.

My dad took me out once. I made him so nervous, he suggested driving lessons. So instead of my dad teaching me, I had Moe, a retired State Trooper with Russian hands.

Jeanie said...

I have barely gotten over my kids being teenage drivers and it will only be a few (well 5) years before my first grandchild will be learning to drive. Sigh!

Cheryl said...

I remember those days so very very well. Strangely enough I learned best with my dad in the passenger's seat. Still remember the lessons no one thought to teach in drivers' ed.

Truck drivers are a great source of defensive driving techniques. Don't ask how I know.

Tracy P. said...

NOT looking forward to that. I'm planning on that being Dad's job.

Queenie Jeannie said...

I somehow managed to get out of teaching #1 and #2 how to drive. Frankly I just don't have the patience for it. We'll have to see on #3.....she's only almost 7 now so I have some time. Scary!

blueviolet said...

My daughter started out so careful, but she has a heavy foot. My son started out like crap, but he's the most cautious, law abiding driver of us all.

TortugaRachel said...

I am NOT looking forward to teaching my children how to drive.

Lynn said...

Love your writing style.
Nice to meet you!
I think maybe the key to youngsters driving is a BIG car!

dkzody said...

And don't buy a Toyota.


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