Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Daddy, can I have the keys?

It was probably the most exciting day in her life to date, but I have to be honest, though very happy for her, I can’t say that I share the same ecstatic feeling. I’m talking about my daughter, Joy. She took her driving test last week . . . and passed. To be completely honest, I had mixed emotions as she went to take the test. I don’t want her to fail at anything so part of me was really hoping she would pass on her first try. Yet, I’m just not sure I’m ready to hand the car keys over to my little girl and send her out by herself on to the highways and byways of Lancaster County. So, as a result, there was a part of me that would have been, well, let’s use the word ‘relieved’ had she not passed.

After all, I didn’t pass my driver’s test the first time, why should she? My instructor failed me because he said I pulled out in front of a bicyclist. I stopped at a stop sign on the last turn of the test with a perfect score going. I looked both ways. I saw the kid on the bike, but he was at least a half a block down and was crawling along at a snail’s pace. I could have pulled ten semi trucks through that intersection before this little brat even got close to the corner. Yet, in my instructor’s humble (and may I add, erroneous) opinion, “I could have killed that kid!” So he flunked me on the spot.

Now I did pass the parallel parking part of the test on my first try. The funny thing about that is that I couldn’t parallel park today if my life depended on it (especially the way you have to for your test). Whenever I have to parallel park I keep driving around the block over and over until I find two open spots that are together. That makes parallel parking much easier. But even then, it takes me several stops and starts until I am in just right.

But Joy passed the whole thing on her first try. Now she’s an official licensed driver of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Why does that not sit well with me? Don’t get me wrong, I trust my daughter. She is a very good driver and I know that she will be very careful. Yet, I know that there are a lot of drivers our there, like myself, who don’t keep in mind when their whipping through streets of Lititz that someone driving the car ahead of them or beside them or coming toward them may be some over protective daddy’s baby girl who just got her license and who is very green behind the wheel.

So now I know that the time has come. Any moment, I am going to hear my daughter say those words I dread, “Daddy, can I have the keys to the car?” And then right behind that will be the even more sobering words, “Daddy, it’s time to take me to college.” And then just when I start to get use to that there will come the words, “Daddy, will you walk me down the aisle?”

WOW! My little girl can drive. Okay, God, here is the part of my blog where I remind myself again…she’s not mine! She’s yours! Every part of her…even her driver’s license. I’m just the very fortunate steward who You in Your grace gave the wonderful privilege of raising her. You know, I’m not much of a country music fan, but let me close this little blog/prayer with these words . . . “Jesus, take the wheel!”

No comments: