Thursday, May 6, 2010

:: drive ::

I was driving Aidan to preschool this morning, resting my hand on the gear shift in my car.  I've always had a habit of doing this, and I chuckled as I remembered memories of my dad/brothers telling me it was hard on the tranny when I did that.  That was in a car with a manual transmission, but still, every time I catch myself doing that, I smile as I remove my hand.  Habits...

My first car was a little white '84 Honda Civic with blue interior.  It was a manual.  It was my dad's, but he let me drive it my Junior year of High School after they moved to California and I lived with some friends from church.  Before that, I drove it to work and back after school.  I remember getting my license after learning how to drive with just an automatic (our sweet Aerostar van).  I came home after school shortly after getting my license and waited for my dad to get home to take me to work.  Soon I realized I was going to be late, so I looked outside at the white Honda, then the keys and said to myself, "Let's do it."  I hadn't actually driven a stick shift before.  My dad had taught me to shift, however, as he drove many times.  I remember him telling me to shift, as he drove along the familiar route to church many times.  "Second....okay, third...downshift....okay, back up to third...second...now first..."  I got it down pretty good until he didn't have to tell me any more.  I would just shift along as he drove.  He did that with all of us kids.  I hadn't really thought about it throughout the years until today.  Anyway, as I realized that one particular day, that I was about to be late for work, I hopped into the little white car and drove to work.  I was nervous, scared and excited all at the same time to make that 4 minute drive to the little daycare where I worked at the church.  I was jerky at first, killed it a few times, but had the hang of it by the time I got there.

That car served me well for a long time.  I changed a flat.  Got stuck in the middle of an intersection with a car full of friends to push me out during a snow storm after school (snow day?  what's that?).  I accidentally drove it into a ditch when I lived with the Huberts, but was able to get it out, miraculously.  Such great memories of that car...Skipping school (sorry mom and dad) during the end of my Junior year to go to Tahoe, after filling up with $.89 gas, kissing my first boyfriend (again, sorry mom and dad), cramming a carfull of choir girls in our huge dresses to choir gigs...sigh...great memories.

And now, I'm so glad I know how to drive a manual.  Every girl should know how.  I'm thinking about forcing my kids to all drive manuals, so they'll be unable to text/talk on their phones while they drive.