Far be it from me to point out the obvious, but I will anyway. People in this region are terrible drivers! Not all people, now... don’t go complaining that I’m the rude one... but listen to me when I say that this area has got to be one of the worst for driving. I know for a fact that the commuting times around here are on the top ten list of worst commutes, ever. I also have first account knowledge of some of the antics of drivers who do really stupid things and then get into accidents, and then they say really stupid things. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic, after all. Some of his stories are truly awful, and some are truly funny. People never cease to amaze me.
So, I have a teenage driver. She is (luckily) very responsible and attentive. I worry about her in a way that most would say is psychotic. I’m an anxious person. I can jump to worst-case scenario very, very quickly. So, I do the whole brake mashing and steering from the passenger seat, which doesn’t work in a normal minivan, and she tries not to yell at me, and usually resorts to calling me “MO THerrrrrrrrr!!!” It’s all part of the process, I’m told. But anyway, she is a good driver, and has good driving instincts, and tends to err on the side of caution. Praise God. Literally.
My twenty year old, as most of my readers know, is a different creature. He is on the autism spectrum and has been back and forth to Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center for life skills training, evaluations, and computer skills training. Tommy has really enjoyed being at Wilson Workforce, I suspect mostly because I can’t nag him daily to shower and shave, but that is another story. He is back there currently learning how to... drive. A motor vehicle. On a highway, among other things. He’s in heaven- not the real Heaven-capital H- but situational heaven.
My first text was something to the effect of “met driving teacher shes cool and i got to drive a chevy IMPALA!!!!!!” He writes like a serial killer and avoids punctuation at all costs. He is a huge Supernatural (the TV show) fan. Apparently, Impalas are the best. He isn’t driving the classic one that the Supernatural boys drive, but he doesn’t seem to care. It’s all about the Impala. The next text, the next day, was much the same, just a check-in type of text and no real new information. However, the next day... three days in, mind you, I got a facetime video from him yelling at me that he got up to fifty-five miles per hour.
“Better there than here!” I responded to him, smiling, trying not to throw up, and trying to convey an attitude of calm.
“Whateven does that mean?” He asks, flapping his hands wildly, God bless him.
“Well, you know, there is more space out there.”
“OK!” he shouts at me, “Bye!!!”
OK... Bye... This child, it has just dawned on me, is going to come back to Northern Virginia and expect to drive, because he’s going to get his license. What on earth was I thinking?
This week’s face time was even better.
“Maaahhhmmm!!! I got to go on the highway!!! I drove sixty miles per hour!!!!!”
I have to remember sometimes that I prayed very hard for Tommy to gain independence. My whole entire family has been praying for this, as well. My church home group, my friends, his teachers have all chimed in on the prayer chain that is independence for Tommy. God is faithful. Now, the prayers are for safety and for the masses that drive in Northern Virginia to have patience and good manners. I have to continue to let go and be good with said independence. We are all growing up!
Keep Calm, pray often, research Chevy Impalas, and parent on!!