Took Sarah on a doomsday driving lesson today, her first ever. We figured since the rapture didn't come off as planned, we should probably plan for the future and get her some time behind the wheel. I hate when cataclysmic events are a letdown.
We went to an abandoned WalMart parking lot and switched drivers. I familiarized her with everything from the mirrors, to her seat adjustment, the gas and brake pedals, how to shift, etc. It's funny, but when she tried to shift, she didn't hold the button in, so it wouldn't shift. It was then that it occurred to me how much we take for granted as drivers. That was also the moment I began to get a bit uneasy. She really didn't know the first thing about what she was doing. I remember the feeling, but that didn't help a great deal, sitting in the seat where my mom once sat.
She started out slow and things went OK. She had a tendency to want to horse the wheel back after a turn, to which I told her, let the car do some of that for you. She was treating it a bit like a video game Ala Mario Kart. At one point, I had to grab the wheel and help her turn left or risk crashing the cyclone fence and ending up in the retention pond. I never dreamed I would do something as "old man-ish" as that, but when you are fearing for your life and your car insurance, you take action. She laughed and said that "steering and working the gas and brake at the same time is hard."
This is when I began to get a tad more than uneasy.
The rest of the time she did pretty well. There was one occasion where I had to tell her to come to a complete stop, because I did not like what I was seeing and wanted to tell her what she was doing wrong. Another time she took a right turn a bit tight on the curb and went up over it a bit, but hey, we've all done that right?
Now I consider myself a fairly laid-back guy. I don't sweat the small stuff, I'm not chronically early or hyper organized, as you all well know. But this was a test of how laid back and calm I could be, or at least appear to be. I know from driving with Donna that being in the passenger seat gives you a WHOLE different perspective on how fast you're going, what obstacles you're facing and other key variables. You have a sense of "non-control" that the driver doesn't. I always kid her when she grabs the door handle when I'm driving, then I get in the passenger seat and I grip the dashboard. There's something about not having access to the brake pedal, I guess. Plus, you can't get inside the drivers head to know if they see what you do. It's a fairly defenseless feeling and I'm not fond of it. I'm much happier in the driver's seat.
The weirdest thing is that I've reached this point. It seems like yesterday that I was strapping her into the car seat. Soon enough, she'll be strapping me in with my orthopedic shoes and my hearing aids and driving me to the senior center for arts and crafts. Time flies, especially when the rapture fails to happen.