Driving Lesson

A wise person said

that your kids are always

four or five months

ahead of you

which means you are

continually addressing 

the person they


–is a source of 

frustration for you both. 

And maybe sometimes 

you suspect that

in one area, anyway,

perhaps they really are not

as mature as they 

believe they are. 

This all comes to a head

when they climb 

behind the wheel 

of the family car

to drive the first few times. 

How to keep from clutching

the dashboard

and keep your voice 

in smooth tones

as you imagine 

both of your lives

cut short

in the blink of an eye

or missed signal. 

He is sensitive to every 

twitch and sigh

you make

and you are praying

he pays less attention to you

and more on the curve 

of the impossibly narrow

devouring road. 

When he learned to walk,

you fretted about his falls

the scar on his forehead

when he teetered and

landed in gravel. 

You held him as

the doctor stitched him up. 

But the stakes are highest now

and the only way 

to let him learn

is to check your fears,

watch him get in gear

and step on the


©Laurie Lynn Newman 


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