-By Amber Brenner-
I could hear my parents talking as I’m getting ready.
“Drive her to the middle school parking lot. Explain all of the gizmos and gadgets in the car. Then have her try it,” Mama instructed Papa.
“Yes, dear,” he tentatively replied.
“But not if there’s anyone else there. Then find somewhere else.”
“Of course, dear.”
“And don’t let her go to fast. Remind her of her speed constantly.”
“Of course. Anything else, dear?”
“Hey, Kiddo, it’s time to go,” Papa yelled up the stairs to me.
I ran down the stairs, kissed Mama on the cheek, and was out the door with my papa in no time.
When Papa and I got to Mama’s tiny Mazda 3 at the end of the seemingly long driveway, Papa stopped, handed me the keys, and told me to get in the car. I looked back at the house hoping Mama wasn’t watching.
I opened the driver-side door, ducked my head down as low as I could, and climbed inside. I stretched my legs out, not even reaching the gas nor the brake pedal. I moved the seat up an inch.
I slid the seat all the way forward until it wouldn’t move anymore. I was practically hugging the steering wheel.
But finally, my feet reached the pedals.
I looked at Papa. He was chuckling because I have such short legs. It made me laugh, too.
“Now what?” I asked, waiting for him to explain every fine detail of driving and all the little “possible dangers” that he tells me when I start any new “possibly dangerous” activity.
“Drive to Gram’s house,” he said, buckling his seat belt.
“Um… okay. But just one question.”
“How do I start the car?”
After he stopped laughing hysterically, and after his face went back to white from the firetruck red it had become, he told me to just turn the key until it started.
And we were off. I was driving down all the back roads with potholes to China.
But I was driving.
And I was between the white lines.
So I was doing well.
I pulled into Gram’s driveway, put it in park, and turned off the car.
“Papa, Mama was so uptight about you letting me drive. How did you stay so calm? I mean it was like you didn’t even notice I was driving,” I commented.
I mean, his confidence in me was a tad unusual.
“Oh, this was your first time behind the wheel?” he asked, but didn’t seem to actually care about the answer. “I don’t know. Sometimes being a relaxed person just come naturally.”