Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Driving Ms. Mommy

I'm not exactly sure when it happened, in fact it kinda came on something like the stomach flu - fast and furious and kinda leaves you heaving.  I've tried to control it, I've tried biting my tongue, listening to music and attempting sleep, but nothing helps.  It's here and I don't for see this plague ending anytime soon.

I'm talking about driving.  Not the act of driving but rather the behaviour and habits that come with it, and not just my habits, but also the habits of others.  Getting my license wasn't on the top of my to do list back when I was 16.  I had never really excelled at those arcade (for you Wii generation an arcade is a place where they used to house video games of a large scale, big and boxy ones.   You could drive a car that you sat in, there were wires on most of the controls and quarters were your best friend.  Well, they were unless they were weighing down your jeans pocket making you look like you had one supersized thigh) driving games, I usually crashed and burned in the first 45 seconds and so I was convinced that I was going to be as successful in real life. 

Turns out, driving in the real world is nothing like the virtual world and after mastering the art of braking  (the first time my Mom told me to gently "tap" the brakes, I put everything in the back of the van pretty near through the windshield, including her Karate bow and a cup of coffee, it was awesome), I actually learned to enjoy it.

I was never a speed demon, my first car refused to go about 110 km/h without shaking like a chocoholic needing a fix and after that I just decided that there was a speed limit for a reason.  I didn't drive exactly the speed limit mind you, earning my first speeding ticket, on my way to a very important hockey game (if you miss the singing of "Oh Canada" you might as well stick your head in the sand, and go home.) it was an accidental thing, and the cop was a total bag -  because this is a "G" rated blog I won't even use the strike feature to tell you waht I really think of her.  I missed my song, the night got worse from there and I don't want to talk about it.  Anyway....I never considered myself a bad driver, in fact I'd have, for the most part considered myself relatively ok at it. 

As a passenger, I thought I pretty much rocked.  Unless we were pushing excess speed I never said anything to the driver about their speed at least, I didn't bark orders, I did not put my foot through the floor while "driving" along and I was always prepared to change the CD should the music switch to Brittney Spears something unpleasant.  I was and still am very confident in Corey's ability to drive and can remember very clearly, on the weekend we got engaged looking at him thinking, "I'd be happy if he could be driving for the rest of my life..." Awww, sigh, GAG!

Then, here comes the puke - my children were born.  All of a sudden, I'm afraid, I'm cautious, I don't drive if there is a threat of snow in the Arctic - in August because then a flake may travel down and land on the road next to the one I'm driving on in Chilliwack and all hell would break loose, and if my children are in the vehicle you will notice that at the end of a journey the floor on the passenger side of your vehicle will have a perfect imprint of my foot.

You see, it's not just me any more.  It's not just Corey and I, it's the two tiny beings for whom I breath.  And not only that, even when they aren't in the vehicle, the fear comes because you see, while I breath for them, I know they breath because of me.  They need me, they need Corey and we need them, it's how this game works and the fear of losing them is sometimes overwhelming.

So I do what every loving and slightly overprotective protective mother does, I keep care of my young.  I nag my husband, who is fantastic and doesn't usually complain - in my defense there are a few times where he so deserved it, most of them not so much.  I prefer to drive, I check and double check your speedo (the one with your vehicle speed, not the one you sport on a Mexican beach causing people to look away and blush or laugh...), I'll point out dangers and speed limits and I fight sleep off at every possible opprotunity, so I can protect my kids.

The funny thing is, I'm not actually in control.  I know and believe that God is in control, of our every breath and our every journey, but I so don't always like to roll with it.  See, I'm a control freak, I won't even strike that for a humour filled moment, it's kinda true.  I always feel the need to be in control or have someone else in control that I trust.  I like organization, structure and plans.  In my heart of hearts I know that my children do not belong to me but to the One who gave them to me, but I will never feel any less responsible for them.  I'm working on those issues, and while I'm doing better and better with it, I can't always stop the reactions.  I used to tell my mom, when she'd worry about me on the road, "Mom, God is in control if he wants something to happen to me it'll happen when I'm driving or when I'm sitting down eating a burger.  When His time is right, it's just right." she didn't always respond the way a 17 year old would want. 

And now, neither do I.  I know my 17 year old self is right, but my 26 year old heart doesn't feel it.  If anything, my 26 year old heart would like to go back and give my 17 year old attitude a swift kick in the hiney but that's not happening anytime soon.  The best I can do is try to rationalize the two of them ( it's like playing referee between a 3 year old and a 1 year old, something I'm getting way too good at), and come to some kind of happy medium.  I still prefer Corey to drive, he's better at it than I am, I know that, I just want to have dual controls.

I wonder sometimes if it's just me, I don't think it is but maybe I'm the only one not exerting the excellent control I have.  And I also wonder if it'll ever change, if my heart will once again resume residence in my chest, rather than my throat and if I'll ever get back to blind trust of the driver of a vehicle.  I don't know, and for now, I don't really care.  I'm ok with me, like this, because if it helps, even once to keep my babies safe it's worth it.

What kind of passenger are you?  Would you rather be riding or driving? Do you put your foot through the floor, or snooze the whole way?

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