HI Friends, I am participating in a fun Blog fest this week and will be getting some critiques on my story. This is a hint of things to come in my next book 'Driving Me Crazy'. Enjoy and please feel free to also comment Now...the story.
SOMETIMES I wonder if my husband realizes that if something happened to me he would be stuck eating macaroni mixed with hamburger and tomatoes for the rest of his life.
Obviously, these thoughts have never parted his gray matter or I would not be sitting in the passenger seat with my son, who only yesterday was toddling around in diapers and sucking on a bottle while milk dripped from his chin.
Driving a car might be a glorious milestone for Jason but it felt like a millstone was grinding inside my stomach and turning it to jell-o. I wondered if it would damage his self-esteem if I unlatched my seat belt, prostrated myself on the floor mat and screamed out a prayer of deliverance.
I sat back into the seat and took a deep breath. “Watch out for that tree.”
Jason whipped his head both directions. “What tree? You planted a tree in the driveway today?”
“I’m talking about the tree at the end of the driveway.”
Jason looked at me and rolled his eyes. “Mom, I haven’t even put the key into the ignition yet.”
“I know. I was just reminding you that before you put the key in the ignition you need to take stock of your surroundings.”
“Mom, we’ve lived in this house for six years now. I know there is a tree at the end of the driveway.”
“Jason, I know that you think you know there is a tree at the end of the driveway but you only know from the perspective of a pedestrian or a bicyclist, not as the driver of nice, unscratched, dent free car.”
He guffawed and put the keys in the ignition.
“Wait. Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Mo-om. What is your problem?”
“I am trying to prevent problems. What are you supposed to do before you start the engine?”
Jason sighed and checked his mirrors. “You’re making me nervous. You said you would take me out to practice if Dad took me first and he thinks I’m ready. Give me a chance to get out of the driveway would ya.”
I bit my tongue but it’s a good thing he couldn’t read my mind. Rick thinks he’s a good driver too but that’s because he has never had to sit beside himself in the driver’s seat. The realization that he will have passed on his eccentric habits was what was making my insides quiver.
Jason was able to clear the tree with only a slight gasp from me that I tried to hide with a fit of coughing. He started to speed up.
“I was only trying to get you to the emergency room before you died.” He
said as he let up on the gas.
“Son, the car is a lethal weapon not a merry-go-round on the playground.”
“Gee Mom, thanks. They never covered that in Drivers Ed. What does Dad call what he does in the church parking lot when it snows? Not a merry-go-round—oh yeah, a donut.”
My husband the safety mogul.
“Jason, the signal lights work in this car you know.”
“Mom, you don’t signal 3000 miles before you get to the intersection. You actually wait until you get close enough to the corner to see that it’s there. It confuses the people behind you. No wonder grandpa didn’t teach you to drive.”
“It also confuses people when you don’t PICK A LANE.”
I caught my breath while he swerved hard to the right. “Let’s be clear. He didn’t not let me drive. I chose not to let him teach me.”
“Boy, I can’t imagine how that must have felt.”
“Jason, you’re going too fast into the turn and I told you, you don’t wait until you’re at the corner to signal. Watch out. Stay in your lane.”
“Mom is it ok if I breathe or do you want to do that for me too?” Jason’s fists clenched the wheel.
“I’m sorry son, your doing a great job. I’m just a little nervous. This is my first time you know. STOP, someone’s on the crosswalk.”
Jason slammed on the brakes. “They’re supposed to wait for the light. I have the right of way. If I hit them it’s their fault.”
“It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. The point would be not to have an accident, not to hurt people and not to make your mother soil the seat of the car. Think how bad you’d feel if you hurt someone. When I, who happen to be in the death seat, am stretched out flat in the morgue, its cold comfort to know we had the right of way”
“It wouldn’t be my fault.”
“Jason! If someone crashed into you and left you paralyzed for life do you think it would make it any easier knowing it wasn't your fault?’
“I’m just sayin’…”
“OK, that’s it. Pull over Buster. I’m driving. End of discussion.”
“NOPE, you’re done. I just got you out of diapers and if you think I’m going to let you get yourself paralyzed and chain me to the diaper pail you can think again.”
And that is how I saved my husband from culinary purgatory.