Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shake, Rattle and Roll

You know how I have mentioned several times over the last couple of weeks that the frequency and urgency that Harold has been talking about driving has been on the increase? It still is.

Not sure if I should even write this in a public forum...but Hubby has been letting Harry drive in the hood a little bit. Harry doesn't have his permit yet. He can't get it until next month. I know that is illegal. Even dangerous. I wonder if the traffic police search random public blogs to find out if people are breaking the law by letting their children drive early. I hope not, but honestly I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I get a knock on the door this afternoon by some uniformed cop writing us a citation. Things like that happen to us.

Anyway, Harry has been begging to drive so Hubby had a great idea to take him up to the empty office parking lot by our house and let him get some practice. In the Jeep. The Jeep is a stick shift. That means it is not automatic. You know the old shifting gears, let the clutch out, press on the gas, finding the sweet spot that allows you to move forward without stalling out, bucking the car too violently, revving the engine too much or peeling out on the asphalt. Hubby thought it would also be nice to drag Harry's friend RV into our illegal shenanigans. In fact, let's just have the whole family join in. It will be fun.

It was.

And a little scary. And a little sad.

We arrive and the boys are jazzed. It is a Chinese fire drill getting little people in the front and big boys in the back.

Not sure that I understand how it is smart to let the two novice drivers sit in the front, but hey I am not the instructor, merely the camera man.

I did voice my concern though. More than once. I was assured that they weren't going to go fast and that the dad's could easily reach the emergency brake from the back seat.


What about the steering wheel? Can you reach that?

SIDE NOTE: Mom, you can take a deep breath here. There was no need for the grabbing of the emergency brake during this exercise. There will be no picture posted on this blog of the aftermath of a car accident. It is safe to continue reading.

EXPLANATION OF SIDE NOTE: We are worriers. We worry. We sometimes make ourselves sick with worry. Just wanted to get Lana to a happy ending so she wouldn't have to even consider worrying. You are welcome.


The boys are in. Mirrors are being adjusted. Dads are firing instructions, warnings, directions from the backseat. Dads are also strapping themselves in, making "I'm SCARED to death" faces out of the back window, holding their necks steady to prepare for the shake, rattle and rolling.

Peggy and I are standing on the blacktop beside the car, talking, laughing when suddenly and almost simultaneously we are hit with the realization that in less than a year this will be our reality. We got kinda weepy. Certainly happy and excited for them to take on this new driving challenge but that just means they are another milestone closer to being adults. The full force reality that these boys who started Kindergarten together, now sitting side by side in a Jeep learning how to drive just got to us. They are growing up so fast. Turning into great young men that were once our tiny little babies.

God, I could just lay my head down on my desk and have a good cry right now.

Must be because I am still a little puny and only got 1.45 hours of sleep last night. I slept in 5 minute increments, between Chips coughs so it was easy to keep track. I don't have the mental fortitude the think about Harry not living in my house, eating me out of a gallon of Goldfish every other day. It is beyond my capacity right now.

Back to driving....

They rocked it. They drove around and around that office building. They practiced parking. They practiced slamming on their brakes. They bucked a little, stalled a time or two, but really did much better than I think anyone expected. Especially them.

It was a success.

Then I made Harry come home and sit in my lap and talk about the Thomas the Train engines he used to love. Just teasing.

I do however find myself staring at him when he doesn't notice. Trying to lock in one more mental photograph of him at this very exact moment. Something I can file away and drag back out of my memory box whenever I need a Harry fix. God, I LOVE THAT KID.

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