Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Driving Miss Julie (and Mr. Sheridan)

Spring House
Just got in from driving Miss Julie to work at Spring House Estates (it’s a retirement community; she’s a waitress) for the umpteenth time. The car could drive itself there by now. But these days are numbered, as Jules goes for her driving test tomorrow morning. She can’t wait and, frankly, neither can I. I remember with fondness the halcyon days when Evan, Rosie and PJ were newly licensed drivers. “Mom, may I go to the store for you to pick up milk?” “Mom, the car needs gas. Let me go get some for you.” And, best of all, “I’ll pick up (fill in sibling name) from school for you.” With joy I would hand over the car keys; with joy they would receive them.  It was the quintessential win/win.  

Sheridan at Grace
As Julie is my baby, you’d think I’d be at least a little nostalgic, saying farewell to my days as the chauffeur. But no! Sheridan to the rescue! For some reason, many classical musicians do not drive (maybe because most are big city dwellers), and my oldest son is no exception. Most of the time this is not my problem, because he is an absolute whiz at navigating the public transportation system. However, there are a few pesky locations where getting a ride is a necessity. One of these is the Lutheran church in suburban Wyndmoor where Sher is music director. Once or twice a week, Steve or myself are dispatched to Grace Church for a pickup or a drop off. Sheridan swears he will learn to drive one of these days, but frankly his work schedule is so intense that I’m not sure when he’d find the time right now. 

It’s a bit of a pain to be on call for these repetitive jaunts. But, I have to admit, there is a part of me that will miss it when the last of the brood is licensed.  It’s a rare thing to be needed these days, and quite nice for this veteran mom. I’ll miss their company on the road, and especially miss our conversations. Don’t know what it is about a car that loosens their tongues, but we’ve had some of our very best talks during these rides. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m not looking at them (safety first!) that frees them up to share more than usual. It was in the car that I have heard about teacher troubles, secret crushes and so much more. And it’s even better when driving a group of their friends! I am instantly rendered invisible as they babble on, seemingly unaware of me at all. But there I am, a fly on the steering wheel, so to speak, and what I’ve heard! Let’s just say I feel well equipped to pen an Upper Dublin tell-all (and I do mean ALL) book.  

My home away from home
One of these days, soon, it will be just me and NPR on the road. No more car seats. No more bickering.

I’ll enjoy the peace and quiet.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Elise for again taking something so simple as a car ride and turning it into so much more! And yes, how bout the way teens talk in the car and some of mine ONLY talk in the car.
    Keep feeding us wisdom or reminding us of the wisdom right in front of us. You do it best.