Of the top most challenging tasks learning to perform, I put driving second only to parenting. Both are scary and unpredictable and force you to deal with unreasonable people. It really gets complicated when you ride with one of those you parent as they practice driving.
There weren’t many Brawner school requirements when our kids were teenagers, but study hall and Drivers Ed were non-negotiables; study hall so the “I didn’t have time for my homework” excuse wouldn’t fly and Drivers Ed because Coach Wilson was calmer than me.
The first time Travis drove across the Taneycomo Bridge after leaving the license bureau as a certified driver, he tightened his steering wheel grip and said, “This is way more narrow than I remember.” I smiled, grateful for his new perspective on bridge widths.
When Jill drove across the Taneycomo Bridge the first time, this was the conversation:
Me “You’re going to hit the curb!!”
Jill: “No, I’m not!”
Me: “You’re going to hit the curb!!”
Jill: “No, I’m not! I’m fine!”
Me: “Jill! You are going to hit the curb!”
Jill: “No I’m” … WHAM! … into the curb.
This is why Coach Wilson instead of me.
I read once that NASCAR drivers learn to never look at the wall they are inches from while traveling at ridiculous speeds. Evidently you go in the direction you are looking. So to avoid the wall they keep their eyes only on the path they want to follow. Jill obviously was looking at the curb I kept bringing to her attention.
If I could only follow that never-look-at-the-wall rule with my life, I’m sure I would avoid unnecessary crashes and messes. I get distracted by what others are doing, saying, wearing, or buying and lose focus of what I want and where I want to go. I’m certain learning to stay in my lane, looking straight ahead, and avoiding the curb will be a life long process.