Friday, April 12, 2013

My Elevated Heart Rate And New Facial Tic Make A Lot More Sense Now.

Eliza has her Driver's Permit.  This means that at any given time of the day or night she could be behind the wheel and we, her parents, will be teaching her to actually drive.  I would like to ask the community as a whole right now for patience, forgiveness and understanding.  It's not that she's a bad driver - but she has a lot to learn.  And I'm surprised/a tad concerned that much of this coaching is up to Geoff and me.  We are not professional instructors.

When I'm driving with Eliza, I try to be cool.  I don't want to freak her out and I want her to believe she can do this.  This is probably because my early driving experiences didn't provide me with a lot of confidence - my dad actually dove out of the car and rolled into the front yard the first time I backed out of the garage.  I want her to feel confident, but certainly not overly so.  When it comes to driving, a little bit of self-doubt based fear can actually be a healthy thing, I think.

I never remember training to drive with my parents.  Back in the '80s (how weird is that to say?) we just had Driver's Ed at school, and through that program we were given time with an instructor and at a driving range - both of which provided me with some ego crushing experiences.  At the range, we were each given a car and tasked with a variety of driving exercises like turning and parking and changing lanes.  We were monitored by an instructor who stood in a tower and used a loudspeaker to correct our performance.

While parallel parking, I backed over one of the orange cones that marked a corner of the parking space.  Unbeknownst to me, it had lodged in a part of the undercarriage while I tried to maneuver the car into place.  I don't know if I was expected to notice the missing cone, but the instructor publicly announced that the driver of Car 7 (that's me!) needed to get out and remove the cone from the back of the car.  I'd forgotten what number I was, so I kept attempting to park wondering what yahoo had managed to get a cone stuck in their car.  After he repeated himself a few times (and seemed to be running out of patience), I realized he was talking to me.  The cone didn't come out easily, it was a windy day, and I was wearing a cheerleading uniform.  'Nuff said.  I avoid parallel parking to this day.

Another time I accidentally put the car in a (very small) ditch during a real road driving session.  In my defense, it was icy, the road was gravely, and I swerved to avoid a chipmunk.

So driving with Eliza involves Geoff and me tamping down our fear, not coloring her experience with emotions tied to issues from our youth, and loving her no matter what happens.  Just like everyday parenting.  Only faster.  And we're not holding the steering wheel anymore.

I'm wearing this today:

It says, "I sometimes like to look French in a cliched way." I am not wearing a beret, however.  I have my limits.

gratitude:  avocado toast (recipe below), Fridays, budding trees, the smell of basil

Mash up one half of a really ripe avocado.  Add a bit of coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper.  Spread on a slice of hearty bread (perfectly toasted).  Enjoy.

thanks and love.

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