I just got back from being in a wide open church parking lot for about an hour and a half. I was teaching my 15-year-old daughter how to drive for the first time.
She has no driving experience, other than Mario Kart on one of the more advanced Nintendo gaming systems. I take pride in having experience on the original Mario Kart, which is ten times better than any of it’s namesakes made since. Curt Paul, Jason, Bobby (all of the Nebel family) and I used to have epic battles on the Super NES Mario Kart growing up. It was always a great time…
But I’m writing this post now to merely state that I don’t remember having a better time in my life. The pride I got out of teaching her to drive, and seeing the big smile on her face the whole time as we dipped and dunked around the lot, (and eventually out into the neighborhood streets) gave me a feeling of satisfaction I have never felt before.
She had no idea it was coming. I just asked her if she wanted to come with me. I pulled into the lot a few minutes later and told her were switching seats.
She was a shocked, but quickly got over it. And from that point on she didn’t wince. A few wide turns here and there, a roll up on a curb once, and a few brake checks, but otherwise she was in the zone.
I took her out in a Mazda 2002 Protege. I told her to get real comfortable. That car has a 95% probability of being the exact vehicle she’ll drive at 16. Ironically she didn’t seem to need to hear that, based on the instant comfort she found behind the wheel on her own.
After awhile she was talking about friends, music, and other life conversations. All while casually driving around the lot. We listened to some Beatles and Billy Joel as she got more and more comfortable with the gas pedal.
On the way back she said ‘I guess I’m gonna need you to teach me what all these road signs, other than STOP, I’ve never really paid any attention to what any of the others mean.’
Yep. Maybe next time. I Can’t wait.