Thursday, April 19, 2012

Flashing Before My Eyes

Stop Sign
Stop Sign (Photo credit: ladybeames)
So in a very recent post, Time Flies, I commented about helping the new driver in my family log his supervised driving hours for his permit.  Since that time there have been two 30 minute sessions and both times I've had my life flash before my eyes.  The flashes are brief and both he and I return to calm quickly.  The experience reminds me of the announcers at the big, televised, golf tournaments.  They keep their voice two notches above a whisper while giving the play by play of the game.  I'm trying to do the same.  "Turn right at the stop sign. Move out of the lane for oncoming traffic.  Move out of the other lane (slightly louder).  Not that far, pull left (panicked voice). Stop! (still moving)! Stop! (still moving)!  Stop the #$%&! car!"  Car stops. 

We are learning how to communicate our wishes in a very direct way.

I am learning how to move quickly from frustration to praise.

He is learning to listen.

The hardest part of the lessons so far are the handful of moments when he seems to be heading straight towards another car.  It is hard to remain calm and communicate clearly when a hallucinatory bill from an auto body shop keeps blinding my vision.  I take a deep breath.  He takes a deep breath.  "OK. When I say stop.  Stop.  Immediately.  Let's go around again.  Move forward. Turn right at the stop sign.  Good, much smoother."  Flashing on my imminent death or not, we move forward.  We will keep practicing and keep talking and learning.  (A great metaphor that I won't force on you here.)
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  1. you sound a far superior driving instructor than dad whose advice started stern and just got louder from there. he obviously believe his explanations couldn't be the problem so my hearing must be the issue. don't rephrase or reword just say it louder!

  2. We've been out three times now. There is dramatic improvement in a short amount of time so I am very hopeful. I am practicing meditation in the passenger's seat.

  3. Oh Lisa, you are such a great mom! Although your first heart attack may be right around the corner, your son is very appreciative of the time you are taking to let him practice. Learning to drive is such a liberating life experience. In South Dakota, I was driving myself to school when I was 14...SCARY!