Driving with Andrew

Can I drive to scouts, mom?” Andrew asked with a big grin on his face. He knows I’m nervous about it, but he asks me anyway.

We are teaching our son how to drive. Correction – my husband is teaching him. I’m usually sitting in the backseat with my eyes looking down at my phone the entire time. I am too nervous to watch.

This feeling I have has absolutely nothing to do with how he drives. He is actually a natural at it and, I’m totally impressed. His athletic abilities give him fantastic hand/eye coordination, impeccable reaction time and good instincts. He has only been driving for a short while, but my husband feels entirely comfortable with him at the wheel. They have even ventured onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but not with me in the car.

I’m not the most confident driver in the world, which probably fuels my anxiety over him driving. So, when Andrew asked if he could drive my car to his scout meeting last night, it took me a while to agree.

I had questions. Many questions.

Have you driven in the dark yet?
Are you tired? You’ve been up since 5 am, you know.
It’s getting late. Shouldn’t I just drive so we can get you there on time?

He had reasonable answers for everything. His calm demeanor and adult-like patience were meant to reassure me as if I were the child and he the parent. I handed him my keys, and he ran to the driver’s side of the car before I could change my mind.

I watch him adjust the seat to fit his 5′ 8″ body. He makes a small production of adjusting the mirrors so that I see he is thinking of everything. The four-mile drive to the scout meeting took us through our neighborhood, down one side street, and one main road.

As we turned onto the first street, he forgot to put on his turn signal. I made sure to point it out. He laughed and probably rolled his eyes, but it was dark, so I didn’t see. Did I mention it was dark out?

Further into the drive, he looked over and casually reminded me of the absence of the brake pedal on the passenger side.

I’m aware of that,” I smiled. “I like to press my foot against the glove compartment sometimes. Okay?” 

The seven minute long car ride was a success. He likes to chat while driving, which made the trip go a little faster. As he talked about school and friends, I listened and told myself he would not be distracted by our conversation. I drive and talk to people all the time. This was no different.

We made it to our destination safe and sound, as I knew we would. He congratulated me on not freaking out along the way. I give a quick thanks to God and switched places with Andrew. I promised him I would let him again, and maybe this time with fewer questions beforehand.

It’s a process. 🙂

4 comments on Driving with Andrew

  1. Doug
    January 15, 2020 at 10:37 pm (8 months ago)

    Isn’t it a sign that a parent is growing up when they let their children drive their car?
    Investing in a good driving school helped us to make the transition. They will pick up our bad habits soon enough.

    Reply
  2. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA
    January 15, 2020 at 11:20 pm (8 months ago)

    Ah, memories.
    I was the one who taught my children (and step-children) to drive. And, my eldest was petrified of driving on a highway. (Almost to this day…) My middle- no rush, Abba. And, she waited until she was 21 for a license. My youngest- was chomping at the bit. (Hmm. I’ve been driving since I was 13- illegally. Not surprising). My two step kids were the more adventurous (as in taking WAY too many risks.)
    It will turn out just right- as long as you stop examining the glove compartment!

    Reply
  3. Maureen Durney
    January 16, 2020 at 6:13 pm (8 months ago)

    Oh, this brings back so many memories! I taught my daughter to drive and she insisted on driving to Sydney (a 35 mile trip) on Christmas Eve, through peak-hour traffic.
    She did an amazing job – but I burnt out the brake on my side of the car…

    Reply
  4. vidya
    January 26, 2020 at 3:35 pm (8 months ago)

    We need to get started on this with our son.. and I am still wondering how to go about it.. 🙂 Reading this gives me an idea of what to expect at the least…

    Reply

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