TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
 Texas : Features : Columns : "The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"

Driviní Me Crazy

by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal

In just a few short weeks my youngest child will get his learnerís permit. He could have had it six months ago if heíd agreed to take a driverís education course. I donít know why he didnít want to do that. It didnít make sense. The only thing I can figure out is that he must have wanted me to teach him as I taught all his siblings.

I have always done the teaching. Dad would never do it. Dad wouldnít even ride with the kids after they were licensed by the Great State of Oklahoma to do it legally. They might have been good enough drivers to satisfy a big, strong, brave state trooper, but not their dad. In fact the only time he will ever sit in the passenger seat for anyone, including me, is after his companyís annual summer picnic when he has enjoyed some beer and some karioke. Once a year. Thatís it. That is the limit of his endurance.

I donít mind. I have always enjoyed teaching the kids to drive. I will admit that there have been moments when I did not enjoy it. Moments when I actually feared for my life. Moments when I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from hollering and moments when I just went ahead and hollered (" For the love of all that is holy, are you deliberately trying to kill us both?" Constructive things like that.).

It has been a different experience with each of them. Katrina was calm and cool on the outside, but often very slow to commit to a decision. This became especially apparent when it was time to leave our quiet neighborhood streets and venture out onto the busier city streets. She would stop at an intersection and wait, wait, wait. One car would pass, then two then three. She would carefully and deliberately gauge the distance and speed of car number four and then SWOOSH out into traffic and a dizzying two or three miles per hour. If she sensed somehow (not with her eyes, they were usually glued to the road ahead, or the speedometer Ė slowometer? Ė or anything but the car careening down upon us) that car number four was gaining on us rapidly and that disaster was imminent she was very likely to stop. Just stop there, where she was. To see what would happen, I suppose, being of an interested and considering nature.

Her sister was a much different student driver. She was raring to go. Driving opened a whole new world of challenge for her. The only drawback in her case was that there are so many mirrors available in a vehicle and she wanted to be able to see herself in each of them at all times. When it was her turn to venture into city traffic she was not phased in the least. She had seen how cute she looked driving in the neighborhood and it was long past time for the rest of our fair city to get to share in the delightful vision. She slowed at the intersection, checked the state of her lipgloss and hair and then gunned it. She did not wait for Approaching Car Number One (who was forced to brake suddenly and swerve into the next lane). She did not, if you ask me, even know that there were other cars on the road. Only potential admirers.

Teaching my older son to drive was much, much different than teaching the girls to drive. I hate to even share this, but he was a much better driver his very first time behind the wheel than the girls ever were or are or ever will be. He had good reflexes, good judgment, an ability to judge speed and distance. Everything. Except fear. Or any concept of his own mortality. Or mine. He would screech around corners on two wheels, inserting himself between two speeding multi-ton vehicles with millimeters to spare, look at me and grin in exhilaration and then look very surprised and a little hurt and ask, "What? What, Mom? I missed them by, like, a mile."

So now, with my youngest, the end of an era looms. I will no longer be necessary for transportation purposes for anyone but me (and, once a summer, the Karioke Kid). I donít anticipate any problems teaching Andy to drive. He is a deeply calm child. He has good judgement and is mature and thoughtful. After an entire childhood of video games he must have phenomenal hand/eye coordination. He is not vain and understands what the mirrors are really there for. He is eager to drive, to have that freedom and responsibility. He knows that driving is more than just a fun thing to do, a lark. He understands that there is a bigger reason for driving than just getting away from Mom and being on his own. He knows that there are lots and lots and hundreds of thousands of girls in this city and that some of them, many of them perhaps, will at some point need a ride somewhere. And he plans to step right up to the plate.

© Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
"The Girl Detective's Theory of Everything"
August 26, 2009 Column
Related Topics:
Mothers | Texas Escapes Online Magazine | Columns |

 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright ©1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: August 26, 2009