Teaching Mom to Drive

One day Kenneth’s mother decided that, since she’d soon be an empty-nester, she’d better learn how to drive. So she talked Kenneth, her last son at home, into giving her a few lessons while he had summer holidays.

It intrigued him that Mom wanted to learn to drive in her “old age” — after all she was almost 55 and to a young man of nineteen that was way over the hill. But it was a smart idea: some day she might need to know how, so  he agreed and let her take the wheel while he instructed.

The lesson did not go smoothly. Mom was so nervous in traffic; she kept forgetting the simplest rules; parallel parking was a lost cause; she didn’t know which streets were one-ways. to top it off she went through a stop sign and got a ticket. After an hour in the car with his mother, Kenneth blew out a long puff of exasperation. He was in for a torturous ordeal before she finally got her license.

After they got home he told his mom he just didn’t have the patience for this project. Anyway, she’d never become a good driver, so why not just accept it? Others in the family could take her where she needed to go if Dad couldn’t. If she persisted she’d likely have an accident and he’d be a nervous wreck.

His father was home by that time and listened quietly for awhile, then said, “Too bad you don’t remember the marvelous patience your mother had with you when you were learning to feed yourself. How many “accidents” she had to clean up when you were being potty-trained. Or how you’d wobble around and she’d rush to comfort you when you took a tumble.”

Kenneth flushed, stared at his shoes for a few minutes, then he said, “Sorry, Mom. Do you want to go out for another lesson tomorrow?”