LORI WEBER MENKE: Supermom goes for a drive
The other week our youngest son, Parker, and I went home to help my parents farm for a couple days.
While we were there we got to do a variety of jobs to help out. One of these jobs included helping my dad get unstuck.
Parker was very excited to go help Grandpa get his tractor out of the mud. I don’t want to be a tattletale or anything, but lets just say my father keeps tow ropes close by when he is in the field.
After everything was hooked up and ready to go, my dad told Parker to drive the pickup truck ahead and out of the way. Parker has never driven a vehicle before and told Grandpa so — so my dad told Parker he better hurry up and learn in case Parker had to help someday when there was real trouble.
Parker being the quick wit that he is immediately told Grandpa that it was really all his mother’s (MY) fault he did not know how to drive yet.
I was a little taken aback. First off, Parker had never shown any interest in driving. Second, I don’t think he has ever asked if he could try driving. Being the youngest in a house of two boys, his older brother, Riley, usually gets to do that kind of stuff. Parker has been content to sit back and let him. And, it had never occurred to me to teach Parker how to drive because he is 10!
As I let my child crawl into the drivers seat to pull the truck ahead, all I could think about was the first time I drove my Grandpa’s pickup. While Parker was behind the wheel in the middle of a field, my first experience was on a gravel road. I was put in the pickup — told which one was the gas pedal, which one was the brake — and told to follow my Grandpa, who was moving a grain truck.
The whole experience went off without a hitch until I had to stop. The one important step that no one remembered to tell me was after you stop you need to put a vehicle in park. Whoops. Smashed my Grandpa’s pickup hood right in. Needless to say I didn’t get to drive again for a long time.
Parker did a little better than me. Probably because I was squished into the seat right beside him, foot ready to hit the brake at a moments notice. Parker thought driving was great fun and made me endure lots of circles in the field before he was ready to be done. The next day Parker wanted to try again. This time I made him pull out of the field onto the gravel road.
I am not sure when Parker would have asked to drive for the first time without the coaxing of Grandpa.
Thinking back on my life I realize now that my dad never let me believe there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do. Change a tire, drive a tractor, go to college, heck he even let me skip school to drive a combine. Maybe that is the way it is for all kids and their dads, or maybe growing up on a farm has something to do with it. Whatever the reason, I hope I never let my boys think there isn’t anything they can’t do if they put their minds to it.
Will I let them skip school to help Grandpa farm — probably. Will I teach them to change a tire or drive a tractor — definitely. But drive alone in a pickup for the first time down a gravel road — definitely not.
Thanks dad and Happy Father’s Day!
Until next time,