Hey, what happened here?


It used to be that I would chauffer Thing 1 around in relative calm- save for the 93.3 head-bobbing music that blared from the our car stereo. In fact, not five point three seconds goes by before I am asked, directed, commanded, “Mom! Please! Can you turn the radio to 93.3?” The urgency in her voice suggests life will not continue until we hear Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rhihanna, or the nine millionth play of Train’s “Soul Sister”. Yikes.

I do remember the need for a radio. But, and here it comes, when I was a kid, all we had to work with was an A.M. country station so after the pork belly futures were endured, my “jamming sessions” were limited to the Statler Brothers and Johnny Cash. If I wanted “good music”, I had to wait FOREVER for Friday Night Videos.

So what has changed as of late is that while the request for the radio is still important, she has taken to talking to me about driving. It used to be that Thing 1 tuned into the music, singing and looking out the window in a tween reverie while sneaking peaks in the mirror during a particularly favorite part of a song. I used this time for my own musings. The songs stopped bothering me because I would check out and into my own reverie of fascinating minutae. Did I put that load of laundry in the dryer? Will two pounds of chicken thaw in three hours ? Did I make the dental appointments for Friday or Monday? Always, I try to notice the beauty…if chauffering does nothing for the soul, it does give me ample time to enjoy our bluffs and lake and seasonal changes.

But all of this has been out of whack because suddenly, I am being peppered with commentary and questions about my driving.

“Mom, I think you should merge now!”

“Mom, why do you always use this lane?”

“Mom, everyone is passing us!”

“Mom, don’t you think we should let the truck go first?”

“Hey! It’s red! Why are you turning?”

What gives? I have suggested delicately that since I have been driving successfully for awhile, odds are in our favor that it will continue without her help. But…road signs and lights and my tendencies have now become a complete fascination that not even Train can deter.

Maybe I will get her a drivers training manual for Christmas, but the problem is she will read it. Her love for rules combined with her keen obervations will no doubt cast a shadow on my less-than-perfect driving habits. I can hear it now.

“Mom, the book says…”