My son appeared at my side in a flash, “Can I drive?” he asked. He stood there clutching his brand, spanking new driver’s permit. I stood there clutching the car keys. It was an automotive stand off.
“My driving instructor said I should get as much experience as I can before my road test,” he said.
“Your driving teacher had her own steering wheel and brakes on her side of the car,” I pointed out. “AND it wasn’t her car!”
“I’m an excellent driver,” he added.
“Yes, I’m sure that those six hours you’ve had driving thus far have completely prepared you for any driving situation.”
While he regaled me with his knowledge of road signs, I recalled my own driving lessons. My dad tried first. After I burned out the clutch on his car… twice… he handed me off to my mother. She had better luck teaching me to drive a stick shift, but was not so great with the parallel parking. One day she decided to have me try parking, in front, of all places, our police station. There was an empty spot between two parked police cars. I pulled up parallel to the first, backed up and slammed into the rear police car, and then pulled forward and slammed into the front police car.
My mother looked around, turned to me aghast and said,
I have since become a much better driver and only very rarely hit two police cars at one time.
Then there was the time I pulled out of the garage, knocked off the side view mirror, and backed into my brother’s car parked in the driveway behind me.
And the time I mistook a walking path for a narrow road in a cemetery and took down a whole row of headstones.
“So what do you say mom? Can I drive?” asked my son, shaking me out of my reverie. “I bet I am a better driver than you!”
I handed him the keys. “You couldn’t be any worse.”