I have been thinking a lot about the time I spend in the car and the fact that with two kids questioning my every move and thought, I have yet to crash into someone or drive into the side of a building. Am I a lucky bitch or what? I have to say, it is borderline reckless. I have taken an oath not to have so much as a drink if I am getting behind the wheel with my kids in the car, but their ability to fire questions at me has just about the same effect on my brain as being intoxicated. It’s like giving them an AK47 loaded with nonsense and letting then fire away. There I sit, strapped in behind the wheel with our lives in my hands, ducking back and forth while they pepper me with questions that make me wonder how I have survived this long. How is that safer than drinking a fifth and taking them to dance class?
My most recent trip with the kids in the car has been my most trying in a long time so I will share it with you. Keep in mind I am driving in Northern Virginia, which is a hazard in itself. “Mommy, why are you going 1600 fast? What are you talking about? Your number thingy says you are going 1600. No, it goes up to 160. No it doesn’t. (I should have stopped there). Yes, see it goes to 1-6-0 and I don’t go that fast, I am currently going about 38. Can you go 160? Not in my 6 year old minivan. Who can go 1600 (yes, back to 1600)? Race cars can go that speed. Ok.” So I think we are done with this conversation and I try to figure out how I have gone 8 miles with no recollection of where I am.
“Mom, how fast is 160 speed? (Shit….here we go again) It is very fast and dangerous. Are we talking shooting star fast? No. Then what? I don’t know. Well, give me an example. I can’t. Why, you went to college? Well I didn’t specialize in speeds. Why? (At this point, I take full responsibility for continuing with this conversation). Speeds wasn’t available in business school. Well, what if I want to study speeds in school? I guess you can consider that in 12 years when you go to college. What if I don’t want to go to college? Well, honey it isn’t a choice you have to go to college. Why? Well it will help you decide what you want to do and where you want to work? (Now here comes the kicker, straight from the mouth of babes) Why would I do that, you went to college and YOU DON’T WORK!”
Ah, it gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling. I feel somewhat duped about the whole raising kids thing. They have all these books that deal with taking care of your children, but they obviously forgot the chapters on how to react when your children make you feel like an idiot or worthless. There are certainly no books on ‘How to Drive Safely with Your Kids in the Car’ or ‘The Best Ways to Outsmart Your Smarter Kids’. I am convinced that as soon as my kids could read they got the upper hand and I blame our educational system for that. Two days ago my 8 year old went into my office to get on the computer and my email was up. Later that evening she surprised me by saying, “By the way I looked at your emails and I saw an American Girl shipping confirmation, which I can only guess is for me”. Here I sit trying to extend her belief in Santa a bit longer and her ability to read has screwed me.
It is no wonder that when I get in the car, I no longer even turn the radio on. The quiet is therapeutic and it gets me back to a happy place where I feel almost sane. I stay in my lane, I notice the buildings and other cars around me, I don’t pass my exit or destination. They say it’s the little things in life that make it worth living and I always thought was crap. Now I realize it’s true and I look forward to my next solo car ride or time in the bathroom without a disruption. Cheers to being alone, driving safely and surviving.