Before I can get to the point of this blog, I'll give you a brief recap about my drivers. The real stuff will be at the end.
Sister:Sister got her permit and learned to drive in the same car as her sisters a year earlier. Fun times. :-) I thought I'd have a heart attack that first time rolling in the car with her too. (I think that I am the common denominator here.)
She's a good driver. We keep expecting her to play bumper cars, but so far, so good. I trust her to pay attention and focus more than anyone else in Johnsonville.
The grands bought her a car to roll around in. Super sweet! (And marginally cooler than the Green Machine.) Ahem.
Big E:Unlike Sister, who had some prior experience, the Wonder Twins have never driven anywhere ever.
This is Big E ready to drive for the very first time EVER. She'd never even put the car in drive before or sat behind the wheel
E was quick to stomp that break and gas. She's a lefty, so learning to use that right foot in a fine motor skill activity has been some more exciting.
We made it back to the house in one piece. I really wasn't sure there a few times. We passed several church members. (I think Heedy almost fell out when he saw E behind the wheel. I also wish I had a photo of his face to put up on here.) She got so distracted waving at him she forgot to turn the vehicle and we sat in the road. Thank goodness we live in the country.
Naynuh:(Who was smart enough to know that photos would follow and kept a smile plastered on her face the entire time she was driving.) Seriously, she did great. A wee bit nervous but not as scared as Sissy.
I love that they all have the same photo series--learning to drive the same car, practicing, happy faces when holding that precious piece of paper.
Now, Naynuh's situation is a little bit different than her sisters'. She likes to be at home and isn't itching to break free, so I have to actually talk her into the driving lessons. Like sometimes bribery has to be involved (we'll go to Sonic and get a shake if you drive there.) I'm not delusional enough to believe that this will last. Once she realizes she can go and do as she pleases if she masters this skill set, I think I will be nothing but a waving person in her rear view mirror.
He is in charge, and I am obedient.
Since that time eleven years ago, my prayer life has blossomed into something entirely other. Something bigger than before.
And now that I am putting three of my most precious people on the road driving motorized vehicles (probably the single most dangerous thing they will ever do), I have found myself in daily prayer about their safety.
See, we live next to a graveyard filled with all kinds of people. Most of them lived long, fruitful lives, but some of them...well, some of them died too early and tragically. Several of the people buried literally yards from my house were killed in traffic incidents.
Next to my house are graves full of people who were in motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, car wrecks, four-wheeler accidents, drunk driving incidents...and the list goes on and on.
My husband is a chaplain for the sheriff's office. He goes on death notifications when tragedies occur.
- He has seen what it looks like to be slung out of a car.
- He has seen what it looks like when people don't wear seatbelts.
- He has seen what it looks like when people drive too fast (which is everywhere in rural areas).
- He has seen what it looks like when new drivers over correct.
- He has seen countless drunk and high people injured and injuring innocent people in their wake.
It keeps me up at night.
So, I'm begging my children to understand why I want to know where they are going, who they are going with, and how long they will be gone.
I want them to understand that it is better to be late for curfew instead of speeding home.
I want them to know that it is brave to tell someone driving when you are riding (including your siblings, boyfriends, girlfriends, parents of friends) to slow down or you want out of the car.
I want them to know that if I ever see them or they are seen anywhere without a seat belt (front seat or back) on I will sell their vehicles without a single hesitation, and they can walk everywhere from now on.
And if you love me, please never text or talk while driving or drive under the influence of anything mind altering.
There is nothing in the whole physical world more precious to me than you are. Nothing. So, please, don't drive distracted. Focus. Pay attention. Both hands on the wheel. And know that I am at home praying for you and for your safety to and from work and school and wherever you travel.
I love you. Be careful. The rest I'll leave up to God.