Maybe you do it, though I doubt it, because I see plenty of people NOt doing it. I realized I was not alone. But that still doesn’t make it right. Especially when we know better.
A few days ago I was picking up from a party just outside our neighborhood, and I let my youngest sit up front. Emily can legally do so, though she barely cracks the weight barrier for being a front seat passenger.
For Emily this was fun, she almost never sits up front, and with the elevated view in the SUV, it was especially a thrill. She told me to roll down the windows, because she “heard the air up here was different”, she’s used to feeling it blow right on her face in the back seat. She was loving this. She also wondered how I don’t drift into other cars, now she had a perspective on how I kept the car straight and between the lines. She thought it was so cool. But she also had a question for her Dad.
“Aren’t you supposed to keep both hands in a certain place on the steering wheel”? Emily said. We had just stopped at a stop sign, my left hand was on the wheel, my right arm was resting on the large console between our seats. I had not yet responded, as I thought of a clever answer, but before I could, she looked right at me and said, “so why don’t you”?
There was no good answer, I think I mumbled something about having 32 years of experience driving. Bad idea, poor excuse. She had called me out. I then promptly put both hands on the steering wheel and told her how she should think of the wheel as a clock, and your hands should be in the 10 and 2 position on that clock, or even at the 9 and 3 position, so you can properly control the car especially when starting into a turn, or should you need to make a quick move.
The bottom line is the kid brought me back to basics. It’s my responsibility to keep her safe and she was paying more attention to it than I. Made me think about the rest of life as well, how easy it is to sometimes relax a little too much, take your eyes off the road, or your hands off the wheel. Glad I have my little girl to remind me to make a correction and get it right. Then again, maybe my wife and I are doing something right, since she knew enough to pay attention and ask questions. We’re not perfect, but when it comes to making sure our girls are safe and healthy, and the same for your children, there really is no option but to get it right, or at least always doing your best to make it so.
So, hands on the wheel. Eyes on the road. Emily said so, because she knows one thing for sure, it’s just about…life.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.