Backseat Drivers Ed

I drive, therefore I am.

I drive, therefore I am.

Living out in the country has its benefits. It’s beautiful, peaceful and private. Folks are down-to-earth, helpful and friendly—until you deal with property lines and water rights, but that’s a story for another day.

I love being able to walk out to the barn in my Snoopy pajamas to feed our animals after lunch and nobody is any the wiser that I don’t shower until late afternoon.

However, living in the Kingdom of Far Far Away is challenging when it comes to civilization access.

As if mom chauffeur duty isn’t demanding enough, add ten miles in any direction and you’ll understand why the Honda dealership dudes are going to laugh in my face next month when I try to return the leased van we’ve put over 75,000 miles on in three years.

For this reason, carpools are essential for survival. Without collaborative caravanning of our kids to their array of involvement, we’d never get to actually enjoy life in the sticks because we’d always be in the car.

Just such a conundrum was looming when I was faced with driving thirty minutes to and from my son’s Drivers Ed class twice every day for two weeks. I made my son run reconnaissance the first day of class to scope out other local kids. Sure enough, he uncovered a clan and found out their moms were already carpooling. I called immediately and was able to secure the last seat in the car.


I recouped 20+ hours of my life back. My excitement went delusional because for some reason I decided to use the time to clean out the garage.

After several days of mucking through the dreck of discarded family life, I was more than ready to take my turn at carpool. My son made me promise to be on time which I was, not that it mattered since I couldn’t get him and his wingman to quit flirting with chicks after class. Only a threat to get out of the car in my sweaty exercise clothes and introduce myself to the girls prompted quick submission. Then we were off, and my cargo of six backseat drivers-in-training turned on.

“Kari, I didn’t see a head check when you changed lanes.”

“Mom, you have to come to a complete stop at the line before you pull forward.”

“You didn’t turn off the radio and roll down the window to listen for trains before we went over the tracks.”

“You’re speeding.”

“You’re tailgating.”

OMGsh, annoying little know-it-alls!

Btw, I wasn’t speeding or tailgating.

The only thing that stopped the madness was when the song Shut Up and Dance With Me came on the radio and they all took to singing at the top of their lungs. I was hoping for another set of train tracks so I’d be required to turn off the radio. Instead, I decided to join the jam, which prompted more criticism, “Whoa Mom, don’t.”

One by one I dropped off the kids, “Thanks for the ride, Kari, even though you took the turn into my driveway way too fast.”

It was nice to return to my house in the country and the quiet of a half-cleaned garage where I could work in my Snoopy pajamas in peace.

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