This post may contain affiliate links. By purchasing a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you. Which in return validates to my family the few hours I spend staring at a computer screen in a day . See Disclosure for more info.
“What have I done?”
These words flashed through my mind as my son took us on 2 wheels through a roundabout last weekend. I looked over at the 2-year-old who looked just as concerned as I did.
Normally when we have taken him to practice driving around town, we were miles away before he reached over 20 mph for the automatic door locks to even lock. But approach a roundabout and he suddenly doesn’t see the need to use the brakes!
I guess I was hoping that he would have got his driving skills from his dear mother here. When I started driving it all came pretty natural to me, my mom always said I was a quick learner. I was driving cars and trucks around our property from age 14.
Then again, these are different times. Kids have grown up mostly in a virtual world. Nowadays kids don’t seem as enthused to be able to operate a vehicle leading them to their ultimate freedom, or at least mine doesn’t!
So …. maybe it wasn’t a good idea to have the whole family in the car for this first-time highway driving expedition! But time always gets away from us and I figured we would kill two birds with one stone. We needed to go run errands and the newly “permitted” teenager needed to log some highway hours. I have to admit it was a pretty bold idea, and mostly dumb.
So, there we were all four of us in the car. I let his dad ride right up front with him, because for one, he is calmer than me, and two, I figured I’d be safer in the back. I’m real considerate like that.
As I sat in the back reassuring the toddler and clinching the oh sh@! handle I realized how little we have taught him. Not just about driving but about all the basics of becoming an adult. It just kind of snuck up on us.
You just wake up on day and poof, here you are. But I guess that’s how it goes.
One day you’re pleading with him to just stop playing Xbox for one minute and then you’re teaching him how to drive down the highway going 60 without running into other cars because there are no do overs like in gaming.
It seems in the midst of trying to prevent my teen from experiencing too much of the world virtually, blocking, restricting and monitoring everything he was doing online, I forgot to teach him about the real world and what it takes to function, thrive, and survive as an independent young man.
So, there’s no time like the present, while we are held hostage by a pandemic to teach him the basics of life. Making calls, ordering food, canceling appointments, checking on neighbors are just a few of the things we have touched on. He has dug a garden, helped his dad change a tire, and got his baby sister dressed. He even got to experience an internet outage yesterday, and when he was freaking out telling me “I had to call to report it”, I willingly handed him the phone and helped him work through the prompts.
We are in the homeschool class of Life 101! There is so much to learn to be a contributing member of society, even if it is how to straddle the dead skunk in the road without jerking the wheel into oncoming traffic.