Saturday, July 29, 2006

first time in traffic

We celebrated Fi's birthday with the family at Andy's mom's place last night. Friends Robin, Ralph and Emma came too. It was just what Fiona wanted, everyone there. Everyone brought part of the meal, which is good. Totally yummy, the work is shared, and everyone's part of making the celebration.

Alex wanted to drive there, but that was rush hour, and involved merging onto and turning off of the Barnet Highway, so I suggested he drive home instead. He had his first "on the road" 90 minute lesson with a driving school instructor on Wednesday, so he was raring to go somewhere besides the church parking lot in my car.

To say I was nervous would be understating it. But we need to start and I trust my son and the other drivers. It's like when I first learned to ice skate I had to tell myself, "Those other people don't want to crash into me so I just have to go with the flow and trust that everyone's trying their best." I know, this is not a foolproof rule when applied to vehicle traffic, but it's a starting point anyway. The bottom line is, as co-pilot in my own car without my own brake pedal and steering wheel, I am not in control.

Alex drove home very well. He managed two lane changes, lots of smooth stops, a couple pulling out onto busy streets from stop signs, and the dreaded 360 degree ramp from the waterfront road (we took the back route home) up to the main drag. I tried not to give him too much advice except to encourage him to look way ahead. "Look as far down the road as you can, and your brain will automatically tell your hands what to do with the steering wheel for the road just in front of us." This seemed to help on that ramp. When we got home, he was ecstatic. Even better, the next-door neighbours, Rhonda and Chris, were driving behind us for part of the trip. Rhonda realised it was Alex when she saw my car with the Learner magnet on the back. Her comment?

"You did very well. If there wasn't an L on the car I would have just thought you were a senior." Alex liked that just fine.

question: have you recently found the need to examine the balance between trust and control?

mompoet - 2.5 practice hours logged, 57.5 to go


Cathy said...

Reading your blog about Alex and driving was just like I was sitting in the car ... I think I had white knuckles clenching the computer desk. Good for him for doing so well and good for you for letting him ...... With just a few months until I give up the brake pedal .... I'm feeling pretty close to the situation! I was also so pleased that Rhonda was outdoors with the perfect comment for Alex. A nice ending to what sounded like a great day for your family!

I enjoyed your tribute to Frank Sinatra and Fly me to the Moon ..... "let me see what spring is like on jupiter and mars " .... That is one song that makes me feel so happy. Brings back recent memories of sitting on the beach on the Sunshine Coast, looking at a full moon, and family and friends taking turns singing the words to "Moon Songs" .... Maybe we'll get the chance to do it again in September! It is great fun to read the various lyrics you're sprinkling through your blog!

Imran said...

Congrats to your son. A driver in no time at the rate he is progressing!

Yes, if this counts.

To allow my 10 year old son go out to a movies with with his classmates, and have a cell phone with him to give updates of his whereabouts while he is out.

Trust that he is responsible to enjoy time with his friends outside and control by being contactable both ways.