Today I watched
my darling Alexandra
drive out of my driveway with an instructor, taking her first driving
It was only yesterday the babe slipped out of the womb into my waiting
hands, looking me dead in the eye saying "Hello! I was expecting you.
Now can we get on with life please?".
Now she's driving on the freeway. Where does the time go?
It's said when your children reach four years old they've learned all
the values they'll ever learn from you. By that reckoning my job as a
Dad ended eleven years ago. At fifteen she's almost an adult in an
almost adult body. And now she's driving a vehicle which weighs more
than a ton and can reach speeds of over a hundred miles an hour in a
confined space filled with other vehicles which also weigh more than a
ton and which can also reach speeds of over a hundred miles an hour.
It's disconcerting, to say the least.
I've taught her to be careful. But will she realize it's the other
drivers who may not be? I've shown her how to be thorough.
But will she be ready for those unaccounted for situations on the
freeway which come as complete surprises? I've explained to her how to
be courteous. But will she put her attention - in time -
on inconsiderate drivers she shares the road with? I've impressed on
her her responsibility of being a driver. But will she
react to and evade those drivers for whom responsibility means nothing?
I've given her everything I think she should know. I've shared the
values with her I think have worth. Yet sometimes I ask myself: to what
avail? The world is full of people whose life choices were to their own
detriment, indeed to the detriment of many others. Did those peoples'
care about them any less then I care about
Did those peoples'
have any lesser hopes for them than I have for
Did those peoples'
love them any less than I love
Could it be the only lasting thing I can really contribute
is a sense of Self, a sense of who she really is? She'll
develop it anyway, to one degree or another. But I want to ensure I
it, I validate it. That's what I see is arguably Job #1 I
was born to do as her
Will she stop at all red traffic lights? That's up to her. Will she
drive carefully? I won't always be there to tell. Will she have the
smarts to handle sudden changes in traffic conditions, keeping herself
and her passengers out of harms way? One thing's for certain: I can't
do it for her. If never finding herself in a dangerous situation is
the luck of the dice, will the dice roll well for her?
This juncture she's now at is her real birth as a human being. This is
the birth of her responsibility, of her onus, of her taking charge. The
babe is on the freeway and she's driving herself now.