How do you remain cool under the pressure of watching and experiencing your baby girl learn how to drive? I understand now why car companies provide that handle above the passenger side door – it’s for daddies who teach their daughters how to drive. My car doesn't have one of those… but I am pondering checking Amazon to see if one can be ordered.
I’m not a control freak, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t sit in the passenger seat well to begin with. In 17+ years of marriage, you could count on one hand (with fingers left over) how many times my wife has driven us anywhere. I don’t intend that in a sexist way, I’d just prefer to be behind the wheel if I can. It’s the way it’s always been. So, if I’m in the car, I’m driving – that’s just the way it still is. So, when my little girl (who’s not so little any more) asks, “Can I drive, Daddy?” I have to fight off that little twitch in my right eye and say, “Of course you can, sweetie!”
And, you know what? She’s doing a great job. She’s getting past those initial nerves of driving, particularly when other cars pass her by. She’s so cool and classy to begin with. And her driving is quickly taking on her personality. She’s not so much driving as she is cruising. (Too bad we can’t cruise the old Snyder drag I used to drive in high school.) And, I’m not nearly as freaked out as I thought I would be… even when she takes a left-hand turn a little on the quick side (tires mildly screeching). We just smile, nervously laugh together, and seize the teachable moment to learn that a turn at 30mph is not the safest means of going left.
I feel the weight of Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he (or she) should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” What a great honor and responsibility! What I am doing is discipling a driver. She will develop habits, both good and bad, under me that will last well into adulthood. I know that a significant part of her driving requirement is observing another drive and that means me. So, I’m buckling up, checking my mirrors, using my turn signals, and even considering brushing up on my parallel parking skills. She will learn from my driving and from my guiding her as she drives. And, by the grace of God, she’s going to be great!
That’s parenting, isn't it? Training them up in the way they should go... knowing that they will indeed go. May the Lord grant wisdom to train them well, that they may not depart from the way.
PS – If you see a maroon suburban coming your way, know she’s got a tendency to make hard left-hand turns… Just sayin’.