Driving from the Back Seat

by in Family and Faith

Ryan makes a left turn on a green light. Oli protests from the back seat: “Dad, you can’t turn until there’s an arrow!”

In the middle of my eye roll, Ryan and I catch each other’s amazed and annoyed glances. 

“Yes we can, Oliver James. You are four. Daddy and I know how to drive, thank you.”

I guess it’s easy to think you know enough, since you know a little. But you never know what you don’t know.

When my brother and I were younger, we made steering wheels out of popsicle sticks. We added a literal stick shift, and with glued together platforms and accordioned papers, we made gas petals and breaks. We drove everywhere we went. From the back seat.

I really hate the way the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I mean, can’t God send a gust of wind and move my children away from my proverbial tree. Why must my children be so irritatingly like me? And also, their dad? 

I hope they never drive. I would happily start contributing to a robot-run highway fund just to keep them from ever getting behind the wheel.

When I got a ticket for 28 miles per hour over the speed limit as a high school senior, my pointed response to my Dad was simply that I had learned the tricks of the trade from him and that I would be paying the ticket with my own money so it wasn’t really his concern. 

God, please send some wind.

I know we’re in trouble already with these two. They often try to tell us where to go (though Bronson, correctly, informed us once that we were headed south on the highway when we needed to go north). They complain about slow driving, get irritated with long red lights, and can’t stand traffic. (Since we’re in Maine, that means they don’t like 3 cars in row. That’s just ridiculous, thank you very much.) They cheer if Ryan or I pass someone, and think speed is AWESOME. And yes, they think it perfectly appropriate to tell us that we are not following traffic laws as if they are more informed than we are.

The arrogance. How about them apples…

If God weren’t so perfect, I’m pretty sure he’d roll his eyes at me all the time. After all, I like to drive from the back seat, pretending I know plenty from my rather stunted vantage point. I know where and when to turn. I know the tempo we should set. I know, I know, I know. 

But I don’t. I know about as much as a four-year-old. And I simply don’t know what I don’t know. 

At Bible Study recently, a few friends recounted instances of traffic annoyances saving their lives: times where a delayed light or traffic jam, kept them from going at their desired pace — only to later discover that their desired pace would have put them in the middle of deadly accidents. There’s just so much we don’t know. 

I guess I should thank God for being the real driver, and perhaps learn how to watch out the window, shut my mouth and enjoy the ride.

One Comment

  1. wisdomfromafather January 13, 2018

    Great post. I can relate to every word, my fellow Mainer.


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