Dorothy Harris

Driving forces hitting the family

We have officially added a driver to our local roadways. It is surreal that we have reached this point in our family life. How do babies grow this fast? It seems they are children forever and then overnight you have a teenager. Soon the little birdies begin to fledge and they do it in one of your vehicles. I was really concerned because the vehicle choices around our nest leave a lot to be desired for a first-time driver. One is much too sporty and the other is large and cumbersome. When we were teens, the sports car would have been the coveted vehicle. Surprisingly, our kid prefers the big truck, Mr. Harris’ truck. She reminds him periodically how she’s going to be using it a lot, maybe even every day. To his compliment, he is handling this well. Before we bought this vehicle, we had never before owned a brand-new vehicle. In some bizarre supply and demand situation, the dealer ordered a new truck for less than a slightly used one cost. I know this makes no sense, but that was our experience. With a brand new vehicle, there are some additional considerations, such as who gets blamed for the first dent. Thankfully, or perhaps disturbingly, depending on your perspective, the first dent came courtesy of the same dealership. Someone flung a door open, putting a slight dent in the passenger door before we could pick it up. Mr. Harris didn’t care, or maybe the new car smell overwhelmed his thought process, and with an added financial discount, he was sold. The tiny dent was fixed and we were out the door with his brand-new truck.
He babied the vehicle for the first few months and then you know how it goes. The dog throws up in it a few times. We got to the beach for vacation and the sand’s never coming out of the carpet, no matter how many times you vacuum. Then, one day, a teeny, tiny dent in the passenger door develops, courtesy of yours truly. I hesitated about taking his truck that day, but he insisted. I was darn careful to park way out so no one would park next to it. It was a great day out of town with the girls until we got home and Mr. Harris looked over his brand new truck and, gasp, found the dent. He handled it beautifully, assuring us it didn’t really matter, but I know him, and I knew it did. I appreciated his laid-back demeanor about it all that much more because of this. I’ve been even more impressed with his ready attitude about the kid taking over his ride. He’s calm, cool and collected, even if traffic ticks him off. He let her drive home from Wal-Mart the other day. “You drove in the Wal-Mart parking lot?” I exclaimed when they got home, “Wow, how’d that go?” “She did great,” he replied for her. “I can’t believe it,” I said, adding, “This is why God wants you to have two parents.” “Yeah,” she retorted, not missing a beat, “Because he’ll let me do stuff you won’t.” She’s right, of course. I am more over-protective on this issue than he is, but then again, I’m the dent bearer as well as the mother. As she drives, I’ve been very impressed with her sense of responsibility and the maturity she is showing. What I can’t believe is how fast we got here. Life is one fast road to travel.