Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Drivers Ed

Knuckles white and holding on tight.  Seat belt securely fastened.  Airbags on.  Imaginary brake under my right foot.  A white flag ready to wave at a moments notice.  I have my ecclesiastical leader on speed dial and I sit wishing I was a crash test dummy that could not see or feel pain.  I am as ready as I'll ever be for my teenager to take the wheel.  Yes, Carrie Underwood, I too wish it was Jesus. 

In the state of Nevada, at the age of 151/2, a teen can take a 50 question test to receive their learners permit.  They can miss up to 10 questions.  Even if one of the questions missed was "what does a red light mean?", they still get their permit.  That's it.  They can then drive a 2 ton vehicle WITH NO DRIVING EXPERIENCE. AT. ALL.  They return to the DMV 6 months later with a mandatory 50 hours of driving under their belt to get their license.  What?  Who is supposed to teach them? Unless you want to pay a driving school to be in the car with them 24/7, it is all on the shoulders of the parents. 

In our house we are on our 3rd teenage driver.  You would think I would be used to it by now.  It would be like getting used to Stevie Wonder as your chauffeur.  Yes, we have survived our teen drivers without major incident. If you call a speeding ticket, for doing 90 on the freeway while also following too close, a minor infraction. 

When the car keys come out, 15 1/2 year old Sassy is worse than the dog when he sees his leash. 

Can I drive? 

Ummmmm.  No.
It's raining.
It's too sunny.
There are ducks in the road.
It's too dark.
I am in a hurry. (I am allowed to speed, she is not) 

So we have about 2 hours down and 48 to go and I am running out of excuses.  I use the word "we" liberally.  The father figure has no problem sitting in the passenger seat, reading the newspaper while the teenager takes to the road.  So he is the yin to the drivers yang.  He plays good cop and I am cop screaming and stressed out . The bad news is we have 3 more drivers to go, the good news is, by the time our last one is 16, I will be too old and desensitized to care.


Thursday, November 4, 2010


I have brothers.  Three to be exact.  All older.  So yes, I am the baby and the only girl.  This role came with its perks (still does!) and its drawbacks.  Teased a lot?  Yes.  Had my own room?  Yes.  Now that we are all parents and some are grandparents, our relationships have matured.  I adore my big bros but that does not mean I did not ever long for a sister.  I used to ask my mom for a baby sister every year for Christmas.  Instead I got dolls and barbies, which would explain my love of them to this day.   But I knew early on that I needed that connection to other girls.  So instead of sisters, I was blessed with friends.  Not only did I make them, I kept them.  

This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.  It is my fourth birthday party.  We are all in dresses, I have a barbie cake,  killer pigtails and best friends.  Forty years later these girls are still my friends.  We may go for periods of time without talking but when we get together it is an ease and comfort that can't be describe.  It's a sisterhood.

Between us we have 32 kids!! (Multiply and replenish? Check!)

We recently did have a few days together and we all spoke of how blessed we are to have each other for so long.  We laughed, ate, reminisced, ate, etc... By the end of the weekend it was the Sisterhood of the Traveling Fat Pants! We felt filled and loved and did not want it to end.  Luckily for me, it does not end. 

Besides having lifelong girlfriends, I have gained sisters.  I married a man that has five of them.  The dynamics of a large family and especially of sisters were very foreign to me 20 years ago and it has been a learning curve.  But as distances grew shorter and time progressed, these ladies became my sisters and best friends.  We are LOUD together. love to laugh together and live for the girls trips.  

My own family grew in girl power over the years.  With two daughters of my own, sister-in-laws that keep my brothers in check, gorgeous nieces I love as my own and great-nieces I adore,  I am finally surround by girls.  But I still have my curio of barbies and dolls to remind me how lucky I am to have sisters.  


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