Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Wheel And When To Let Go

I think there really is a time that you need to just let go. 

Not just of the steering wheel, although I remember my father scaring the piss out of us while doing so as he drove over bridges, but of the things we think we have control over.  I say "think" for a reason.  Making a plan or schedule is a great way to organize things but not often do they go exactly as intended.  I also know that some people avoid thinking of their future and, because it is so uncertain, they shy away from creating anything resembling a road map to life.  I'm getting better about that, myself.

So, when David turned 15 1/2 years old this summer, we had a game plan.  Take him out driving each weekend starting with parking lots and working our way up to the highway.  Things went really well despite a hiccup or two that turned into learning experiences (for him and us.)  If I have one thing going for me, it would be patience.  That serves me well in life, work and this particular circumstance.  Well, the weekly practice evaporated as David's weekend schedule was adjusted and, when he did get a chance to drive, he reverted to some earlier bad tendencies.  After an incident where he ran a red light, drifted into a different lane after going through an intersection and changed lanes without checking his mirrors, we had to re-evaluate.

We do try to maximize the time we do have with our busy child.  It's astonishes us all the things he has to balance when it comes to school work (several AP and honors classes) and a recently begun workout program.  We decided we needed to let go of the wheel.  When you don't have control of a situation, sometimes the best thing to do is hand it over to someone else... A-1 Driving School.  After 2 of his 3 two-hour sessions, I can see a little more confidence in him and I'm expecting that I will let him drive me to the store later today.

I guess there was always a fear of letting go of the wheel.  Despite watching my father do it (to the astonishment of his children), I knew there was a risk being taken.  It was later that I noticed he had been bringing his knee up to hold the wheel steady.  He wasn't really letting go but I have to say that my doing so may have been the best thing for my son.


Jay Noel said...

My oldest is 13, man...I know how you feel. I don't even want to think about him driving a vehicle.

He can't even keep his room clean.

Robin said...

I remember when I was learning to drive my mother constantly hitting "the brake" in the passenger seat. It was very disconcerting. I much preferred having my dad ride shotgun.