Monday, May 14, 2012

Driving Miss Hess

One of the benefits of my job is that I get to take my daughter to school in the morning. Her school is around the corner from mine, so I drop her off, grab a Starbucks, then head to work.

Lately, during these trips, I've been sharing driving tidbits. Beware of wet leaves. Trucks make wide right turns. Don't do what I just did.

I know her permit is still a couple of  years away (or a decade away, according to her father), but I'm also aware that the time to tell her these things is before she thinks she knows them already.

She has a good head on her shoulders. An only child, she's mature beyond her years in some ways, and a typical teen in others. The thought of her being behind the wheel of a car scares me, not because I don't trust her, but because I am aware of the possibilities. But, I would prefer that she be the driver rather than the passenger, and given the fact that she has a fall birthday, that's a very likely scenario.

And so I plant little bits of information in her brain, knowing full well that she'll only remember some of them. I've learned, though, that the smaller the bit, the more likely I am to have her attention, and as she hurtles toward high school in the fall, I am profoundly aware that I won't have her attention for much longer.

And so we ride to school in the morning, and home from school in the evening. She checks to see if there's any oncoming traffic on her side, and I try not to think about her driving in traffic of any kind. In between the songs she "loves," we carry on snippets of conversation, laced with things I think she needs to know.

I will miss these car rides next year, so I am making the most of them while I can.

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