Way to go girls

I heard a report the other day females now have more driver’s licenses than males. Way to go, girls!

It’s not surprising when you think of if. After all there are more females than males in the country. In my particular family, the guys still dominate, but only because the guys still dominate. When you add in the grandkids, the girls pick up a left hand seat … the one lost when Karen died. So we currently are at 5-2 in the immediate family and 8-5 including the younguns.

But the overall stats are important. Driving — at least to me — is a right of independence. And I am proud I encouraged my kids — girls and boys — to get behind the wheel as soon as they could. I wanted them to grow up strong and independent, especially my girls. Besides, having  a mule to run errands during the football game or herd up the other rugrats came in handy.

Back in my day — when cars were about 9,000 pounds and the size of a football field with no conveniences like power steering — girls were behind the curve in getting behind the wheel. I couldn’t wait to get to DMV for my driver’s permit. In fact, it’s probably the last and only time I arrived somewhere EARLY! And after the permit turned to a license, the world became my oyster.

But I do remember girls being a little slower to head for the DMV. I dated a few females who did not have, nor particularly wanted a driver’s license. They were quite content sitting in the passenger’s seat or sliding over to snuggle on my shoulder {ah, those were the days before bucket seats and seat belts}.

Karen was one of those gals. She often walked to work on nice days or took a bus. In the city, you had those options. I encouraged her to flex her independence muscles by suggesting she get her license, much to the chagrin of her mother, I might add. I drove her to the DMV, studied with her, let her practice with my car and went with her for the Big Day!

Actually, the bulk of the driving lessons were from my father. Through rote routines, he showed her the proper way to drive — hands at 2 and 10, turning the wheel to the left if you want to make a left hand turn, etc. I remember one night when I was driving one-handed and she chided me. I looked at her and said, “Dad will teach you what to do. I’ll teach you how to drive.”

I also remember the first time I did let her drive. My knee-jerk braking and bracing for collision by grabbing the dashboard led to an icy stare and a just as icy, “Do you want to drive?” In one of my first attempts at diplomacy I responded calmly, “No, dear, you’re doing just fine. Now, please watch the road.”

She became a very good driver, although early in our married life, the unwritten rule was when we went somewhere together, I was behind the wheel. But over the years I became very comfortable in the passenger seat.

I do have to admit, the whole male-female logic thing remains a mystery, even at my advanced years. And that extends to driving. Why women do some of the maneuvers they do is beyond my comprehension … like stopping for potty breaks or asking directions. And I think road rage runs rampant among the female gender. Don’t cut a woman off!

As an aside to this logic thing, I remember back in Illinois coming home to find the car halfway in the garage with the garage door resting on the car roof. As I looked in, there was a teary Karen just sitting there … stuck. She rolled down the window crying because she had been in the predicament for hours {the days before cell phones}. She couldn’t open the doors because they were adjacent the jam. I {logically} asked her why she didn’t just drive forward or back so she could open the doors and got a sobbing, “I didn’t want to damage the car.”

Anyway, I’m glad girls and women feel empowered enough to be independent and are showing it by getting behind the wheel. Now, if we can only get them to change the oil, check tire pressure and realize the little red lights on the dashboard are not “suggestions,” we’ll have it made.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: You are a child of the Most High God. You have seeds of greatness on the inside. There is no mistake you’ve made that is too large for the mercy of God. There is no obstacle too high, no sickness too great and no dream too big. You and God are a majority.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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