There he goes my son, heading to the golf cart ready to take it for another spin. I had no idea he could drive. He went out for the first time with his Dad and a close family friend who insisted that Ian drive them out to the course. There was a whole line up of carts ready to leave and there was my son in the drivers seat. The cart seemed simple enough to operate. So as they drove away there sat my son looking confident when barely a second passed he turned to the right and drove directly into the line up of cars next to his! I tried not to look. The negative possibilities were endless, but since Ian was driving I felt like that in order for me to be a good parent this was one of those situations where it was essential that I be there whether I like it or not.
All the manly golfers behind them had to stop their carts and wait until Ian backed up his cart and straighten it out so there was, how shall I say, some beers before noon direction being given by the golfing men. In other words, lots of shouting and cursing by the men waiting to golf. Ian was climbing out of the cart trying to escape, but our family friend Tommy wouldn't have any of it. With a look of glee in his eyes Tommy insisted my son sit down and take his time backing up the cart (thereby etching a place in my heart forever) as Ian proceeded to floor it in reverse & crash into golfers behind him. By this time the manly golfers saw what was going on and perhaps sympathized a little as they recollected their own early driving days. The tension subsided as they more patiently began to laugh a little. Seconds later my son drove off acting perfectly capable and I imagine somewhat thrilled as if nothing had happened.
Let's face it though, a nearly fourteen year old can only watch four men golf for so long. Why drive them around having to stop and wait when he could drive his mother around the golf course uninterrupted?
Yeah, that was exciting and unexpected (for me). Let's just say I sprouted a few grey hairs that day, two when I had to grab the wheel and two more as I shouted, "Brake, brake!
At some point while driving his Dad and friends around Ian realized, yes, I can do this and I do it rather well. Ian came back from that experience somehow changed. Sitting beside him watching as he navigated the narrowly paved course the word fearless kept entering my mind. Ian is acting fearless I thought, and this scares me.
What concerns me though is how my son is now totally convinced he can drive. If I gave him the car keys so he could go run an errand for me, I believe he wouldn't think twice about obliging. I guess it's good, this teen spirit. If kids didn't feel compelled to move forward, life wouldn't be nearly as interesting.
Thanks Uncle Paul for lovingly watching over your nephew Ian.