Driver's Ed Mornings
Monday, August 10, 2015
This summer, my youngest brother took driver's ed. There was a bit of a drive involved, so usually, my Mom and I would go together and then keep each other company while my brother was in class or on a drive. When the class began, the mornings were super cold. They were the kind of mornings where you welcome cozy slippers, a warm drink, and a longing to cuddle up on the couch by the window.
I baked up a batch of cinnamon rolls that took us through the first few weeks of class. On driver's ed mornings I would pack up a breakfast, a blanket, and my Bible study basket. My Mom always brought a pile of her own things to work on.
During those chilly mornings, we would sit in the back of the van enjoying our picnic breakfast. We talked about what we were learning in our studies. We read portions of our notes and texts to each other. Sometimes, we would talk, and sometimes we just sat quietly enjoying this change of pace.
As I set out the food on that very first driver's ed morning, I could feel that some special memories were about to be in the making. I was eager to settle in and enjoy the time that was being granted to us.
During those weeks, I made my way through my study of Galatians. I also read a whole stack of books, mainly because we had soooo much time on our hands! My Mom can only sit still like that for so long before she dozes off. Several times, she didn't even try to fight it off.
We chatted with my other brother and my sister on the phone. We took walks. We meandered our way around town checking out geocaches, the local park, and the little store where they even had old groceries on display. I got in a lot of people watching. It's strange to observe the people from a small town that you don't belong to.
There was the boy that came flying out of his house everyday around 8am pulling on his sweatshirt and wiping the sleep out of his eyes. He watched us so closely those first few weeks. I think he must have been about 15, but every morning he came out of the house to take his walking tour of town. Sometimes, he came back with a mountain dew.
One morning I found myself crying a little bit as I watched a grandpa return from a trip to the store with his little granddaughter. His way with her was so gentle and patient. He provided a running commentary of what they were doing and why and she tried her best to keep up with him. His manner reminded me so much of my Ghiddu. I was crying tears of loss and also of pure joy for what that little girl was getting to experience.
A cat named Dion quickly made friends with us. I'm not sure if it was a boy or girl, but she (all cats are she's and all dogs are he's in my mind) came running up to us one morning while we were walking and would not leave us alone. She meowed and pawed at us and laid on the ground in front of our feet and then ran after us every time we tried to continue on our way. At one point, she even came and sat on the windshield of our van. I enjoyed watching her run over to greet the driver's ed kids, mainly because of the way each child reacted to her visit. Some would completely ignore her, some would be fighting the urge to reach down and pet her, and others looked around to make sure no one was watching before they finally did.
Teenagers have such images to keep up! Every kid that came out at the end of class came out with a certain saunter. I had completely forgotten about that walk and the feeling of having to look like you had somewhere to be and someone there waiting for you. The careful balance between caring and yet looking like you didn't care one tiny little bit.
While my brother was learning the rules of the road and the ins and outs of driving a car, I was learning a little bit more about God and His Word and this world that we live in.
Whether I spent the whole time studying or walking around or having breakfast at the golf course (where they have THE best restaurant biscuits and gravy I've had since Hardee's) or just sitting and watching the world go by - I was listening. When I listen, I begin to learn.
My brother finished driver's ed and those mornings are over, but I won't soon forget them. I'll remember them for the gift that they were and let them remind me to listen even when the sound is just a quiet town.