Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thoughtful About . . . The Driver's Seat

I have a family of drivers. My husband goes for drives to clear his head. My sister was one of those kids who begged her way behind the wheel on our farm vehicles as soon as she could see over it. My mother-in-law has a list of dream-cars. My dad is the proud owner of a truck, an SUV (okay, this one's my mom's), a Harley, and a four-wheeler. All these folks will jockey for a chance to drive whatever new vehicle joins the family. They love it.

Me? I'd rather being in the passenger's seat, or on the back of the four-wheeler. At the end of the boat (not that we have a boat, but when we've been on others') staring into the wake. Feeling the wind on my face but able to look off into nowhere for my enjoyment. Watching the scenery go by. Ignoring the traffic.

I drive--when I must. I love the freedom of being able to, don't get me wrong. I appreciate and am thankful for my car, so much so that every car in my family gets a name. Our car now is Xander, our Jeep is Bartok. I've also had a Sparky and a Snowball. And yeah, I have a list of dream-cars too. But when we go out as a family, there's never any question of who will drive. The keys go to David. The daydreaming goes to me.

The other night I hopped on the back of my dad's four-wheeler to go over to the farm, and said, "Wow, this is my first ride on this." I used to ride on my neighbor's all the time, but I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

Dad replied, "It's really easy. Look--drive, reverse. Gas, brake."

Me: "Mmm hmmm. . . " Ah, wind in my face! And look how green the fields are, stretching out until they meet the river, the mountains rising up . . . What a beautiful place I grew up in. What an amazing world God has crafted.

On the way back, Dad asked, "Wanna drive?"

Now, if you asked my 3-year-old this, he would probably say yes, LOL. But me, I just climbed on the back again and said, "Nope."

And I spent the two-minute ride back trying to figure out why. It's not that I dislike driving, per se. I certainly am not afraid to try it, I know it would be easy. And I can understand why folks get a thrill out of being in control of the motor that's taking them from here to there.

But more important to me is seeing what I can see while going someplace. Having the freedom to ignore the musts of gas and break and traffic, of potholes and bumps, and focus on the ifs.

I think it comes down to being a dreamer. I'd rather experience from the backseat and try to imagine what the driver's feeling than actually do the driving--because then I'm too busy doing to absorb. I'd rather sit on the sidelines and watch the game than play, because I can both see the moves and the expressions on the faces, I can learn the rules and create a story around them.

Obviously there are exceptions to this, things I'd rather do than watch. But I sometimes find it funny when everyone keeps pushing me to try something, and I just have to smile and say, "No, really. I don't want to. I like it here." I do wonder, occasionally, if this is a failing of mine . . . but you know, so far I don't think I've really missed out by staying in the passenger's seat most of the time.

I still go all the places the driver does . . . but I see a lot more along the way. =)

1 comment:

  1. Okay - I HAVE TO admit I'm a TINY bit jealous. With two kids ten and under and a husband with a serious vision problem, I'm the ONLY driver in the house, and will be for a while.

    I'm an observer and dreamer too - maybe that's why I'm not the best driver around...perhaps I'm trying to be the driver and passenger at the same time LOL.

    Really enjoyed this posst, Roseanna. And I MAY be over my jealousy. Maybe ;)