Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Driving With Miss Josie--Part Two

It was a sad day when I realized that I’m not as ‘cool’ as my mother.

Josie-Earl just turned sixteen. She has her driver’s permit, and as all teens do… she wants to get her license. But over the winter, she didn’t fulfill the required 35 hours of driving time.

So… we’re trying to make up for it, now.

My truck is tall. It’s long. It’s got a towing package which makes it a little ‘stiff’. It’s not a sedan; it’s a work truck… something we need around The F.A.R.M., and for hauling the tractor, and for driving to those real estate showings which are off the beaten path. Or to those which don’t have a path, at all.

Josie hates my truck. But Josie wants to learn to drive. Josie wants to get her license. I’ve told her that once she is comfortable driving my pick-up, she’ll be comfortable driving anything (except my pick-up in the city, or in parking garages!)

On Saturday morning, Josie needed to be delivered to her grandmother’s house for a trip to Portland to attend her cousin’s birthday party. She needs driving time, so… I let her drive.

It’s no wonder I have frizzy hair. What IS a wonder is that I have any frizzy hair left on my head.

It’s not that my daughter is a bad driver—she’s not. As long as there are no other cars on the road, she’s actually quite safe. Oh, and as long as there are no corners on the road, either. Or soft shoulders. Or snapping turtles wandering across.

We managed to drive 10 of the 14 miles to Mum’s without a single bellow coming from the passenger seat. I spoke calmly.

“Josie, you really need to stay out of the ditch.” Calm as a clock, see?

“Sweetie, that yellow line is there for a reason. You should be able to see it out your side mirror. No, YOUR side mirror, not mine.” Patient as the day is long.

But then there came a particular corner at the top of John Hall Hill, by the bog. She took it too fast, and swung way out into the opposite lane. And I simply couldn’t help myself.

“Josie! You’re on the WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!”

Her head whipped around and she snapped back.

“Yes, Mama! I see that!”

Like I was a goober, or something! Like I was simply pointing out the obvious in an attempt to irritate her!

“Well, then! Get back over here!”

I think I also swore, but my memory is a bit foggy. Blind panic does that to me.

Moments later, we arrived at the Bessey home. Mum came out onto the porch to wish us ‘good morning’ as we climbed from the truck.

“How are you?” she asked.

“My nerves are shot, “ I muttered, walking on shaky legs to the driver’s side. I kissed my gorgeous teenager, wished her a ‘good time’, and resumed my rightful place behind the wheel of my pick-em-up truck.

When Josie returned home the next day, she informed me that Nanny let her drive part of the way home from Portland.

“She’s WAY cooler than YOU! Nanny never hollered at me once!”

That stung. Hurt. But I’m not letting it get me down. Now I have a new goal. Someday, I want my grand-daughter to tell Josie-Earl that I’m WAY cooler than she is.

I might not have any nerves left… but I’ve got a goal.

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