Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Driving Me Crazy with Worry

Emma brought in the mail this morning. I reached for a big manila envelope. Smiling, she snatched it away, saying, "You don't want this. It's junk."

It was from the Texas Department of Public Safety and contained the paperwork for her to begin parent-taught driver education.

She has resigned herself to it, but she doesn't want to drive. This is not a surprise. For years she has answered Nathaniel's persistent request to name her favorite car by answering, "a coach and four".

I have my own growing concerns about her driving--concerns I never had when Nathaniel first drove. From the beginning, he drove all over Houston, even downtown, without my worrying. This is so different! First of all, the big benefit of Emma driving would be that she could travel to her favorite places--the ballet studio in Atascocita, fabric stores in Humble and Clear Lake, friends and church in Dickinson, without me having to leave my home responsibilities to take her and wait for her. I can't imagine her, though, traveling alone. I can't imagine her walking out to her car in the dark after ballet. I can't imagine her having a flat tire on the Beltway as happened to us last night. (Nathaniel was driving me and Emma. He handled it all expertly, though as the cars whizzed by so close, I was thankful that we had all just been to confession.)

I was just reading an article on 19th century ballroom etiquette, and it said that the gentleman was supposed to escort the lady to the changing room, to the dining room, to the dance floor, etc. How did we get to the point where it is "normal" for young ladies to drive abroad alone? Maybe the world was so safe when this practice started that no one worried about it. It certainly isn't now, and I am definitely worried.

Emma was right. I don't want this. It's junk.

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