driver’s education

Most of the time I just sit and observe and know that it’s quite literally out of my hands. I give advice. Perhaps: “The most dangerous places are parking lots,” and “You’ll want to keep your speed as you merge,” and “Look left then right” followed by some lesson on the geometry resulting from driving in the righthand lane, a totally arbitrary yet useful agreed upon convention. But mostly I lean back and pretend that I know what I’m doing. This is what we call parenting. I could reach out to grab the wheel, but that’s mostly a placebo. We think we have something to do with the rearing and the raising. As if. For the most part, we’re in the passenger seat and they have a tenuous sense of where the accelerator is, how much pressure to exert on the brake pedal. For now, I’m grateful just to sit alongside and to continue the charade. I turn the radio down a little and make sure she knows how to signal, to yield, and stay in the lane. The rest is just learning to enjoy the ride.

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