Monday, August 13, 2007

I was better at driving backwards

That's what my dad told me when he was teaching me to drive: That I was better at driving backwards. For some reason, it just felt more natural to me and I could steer the car in a figure eight around the orange traffic cones in reverse, but headed forward, it was another story. Although there was that unfortunate incident where I was backing out of the garage and took the clothes dryer with me. My father ran out of the house, wild-eyed and waving his arms, shouting, "Stop! Stop! STOP!" I stopped, looking nonplused at the dryer, which was attached to the front bumper.

"Didn't you hear that?" he asked, turning a very alarming shade of plum.

"No," I mumbled, wishing I had the power to disappear. And remove dents from clothes dryers. "I was listening to Bon Jovi."

They are the reason I wrecked my mom's Whirlpool dryer. It's hard to remember after all this time, but I'm sure it had nothing to do with me not paying attention to what I was doing as I backed out of the garage.

Meelyn doesn't seem to have that trouble. We stopped on the way home from Nanny and Poppy's house today in a different church parking lot and she drove around - both backward and forwards - like a pro. I even had her pull into a couple of parking places, one with a curb in front of it and one with nothing in front of it but air and grass. On the curbed space, she did touch the curb with the front of the van, but heck...I do that on a regular basis, especially at Blockbuster, where they seem to have a very tall curb.

She pulled into the second parking space perfectly, and already seems to have a clue about which way to turn the wheel when she's backing out of a space and turning right or left.

We will be able to deliver her at the front door of the driving school here in our city with great pride, turning her over to someone else, who will teach her how to drive on the actual streets. Because he will have his own brake pedal. And his own steel-reinforced nerves.

But if she keeps up like she's started, he may not need either one. Meelyn may be a natural. Or a biological sport. One or the other.

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