All that I’m saying is my internal swear jar is as full as a Las Vegas slot machine, just after two days of teaching my son how to drive. I haven’t seen a car go airborne since watching the General Lee from the Dukes of Hazards. My first mistake was assuming that my son, Jesse, wouldn’t take it so literally when driving over a speed bump! Needless to say my chiropractor will be very busy if Jesse uses speed bumps like an Evel Knievel ramp.
All that I’m saying is I have recently learned I can scream using a falsetto singing voice. I could easily sing karaoke to any Bee Gee’s song – preferably Staying Alive! In my defense an almost head on collision will make anyone capable of hitting those effeminate notes. I am constantly tapping my invisible brake with each lesson. By the time we are finished, I will be able to tap dance as well as Gene Kelly! My heartbeat appears to accelerate every time we begin our take off. I now know what a human cannon ball feels like after being fired out of a circus cannon or a bullet shot from a gun.
Today, merely seconds into another nauseating lesson he ran a red light as though he was some character straight out of a video game from Grand Theft Auto. Ironically, with each lesson the grand theft is actually precious years off my life. The road has become some macabre hellish test to testify as to how much unconditional love a father will give to his son. Yet, if this is some kind of paternal test, then teaching him to drive will actually be graded on a roadside curve- curve!
All that I’m saying is I can ignore my son’s driving mishaps such as: swiping branches extending from parking lots, flying off highway exits like some kamikaze pilot, blindly switching lanes, backing out and almost sideswiping each parked car surrounding him, and being forced to grab the steering wheel from his white knuckled hands before careening off the road. I can ignore all his tactical foibles because after all he is the son of a habitual slow learner. However, unlike his dad he has proven to be more resilient than I ever was at 16 or 15, 14, 13, I could keep going but unlike my son at a red light, I know when to stop.
I never accomplished as many things that he has already done. Jesse earned a black belt at age eleven. Then, he joined wrestling and became a finalist in middle school, placed in the states in high school, and became a captain for his high school team. One cannot be in those aforementioned sports without utter perseverance and determination. The ability to be knocked down in front of your peers, family, strangers, and then to get up and fight again is ingrained in him. He has learned that failure is temporary- it only occurs by never wrapping that belt around your gee or by failing to give all of yourself for the betterment of your team. In my heart I have never seen him lose a match –ever! He has proved time and time again that winning is simply being in the game of life. I know he will eventually get his license because he knows how to get up after any loss he’s ever occurred.
All that I ‘m saying is although I am wearing a NASCAR helmet, a suit of armor that would make Iron Man envious, a parachute, and constructing a bumper-car bumper to our car (no one ever gets hurt from that amusement park ride) he will be just fine. Jesse will finish because he always does what he sets out to do. And one day we will sit back and laugh about our road trip and how his driving drove me crazy. Heck, I imagine some people he recklessly cut off might still be talking about him. So what am I really trying to say? I guess all that I’m saying is I’m not surprised that after every driving misadventure he is willing to get back behind the wheel, put his seat belt on once again, and scare the hell out of me one more time. My son makes me incredibly proud of whom he has become and always will be. However, it is still a lot easier to give him the key to my heart rather than the keys to my car