Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Driver On Board

What a week – my youngest turned 9 and my oldest got his learner’s permit. I would love to make some kind of wisecrack about how riding with Michael will shave off years from my life or give me grey hair (more than I currently cover with routine visits to Mallorie) but so far he’s done an exceptional job of getting us from point A to point B. I imagine it is intimidating driving my Tahoe after learning on that little Ford Focus… but I’m glad to have all that sheet metal around us in case of emergency.

I’ve mentioned before that Michael gets his love of all things automotive honestly – both his father and his paternal grandfather are lovers of the automobile. Sean’s dad, whose famous quote is, “We can look at cars or women – you choose,” adores cars. Sean eats, breathes and sleeps cars. And Michael is following in their footsteps.

Michael’s been a tad disappointed that driving is so all-encompassing. He thought it would be easier. His major complaint: he can’t look at all the other cars on the road, and when we pass a car dealership he can’t see the cars on display because he has to concentrate so intently on staying in the lane.

So far I’ve been a good driving coach. I’m working very hard to not push my foot forward when he needs to break and I hold (clutch) my hands in my lap to avoid grasping the door handle when he gets too close to mailboxes or other cars. I want him to remember me being an encouraging passenger. And his sisters are doing an admirable job keeping their mouths shut.

He has to log 50 hours before he turns 16, 14 months away. I don’t think that will be a problem considering he’s logged almost 90 minutes in the three days he’s had his permit.

Sean's dad, Chuck


Michael behind the wheel of Grandpa's Oldsmobile, made by Sean
at the Doraville, Georgia, assembly plant.