As a mom of two boys, I believed potty training was going to be my undoing, until I faced teaching them to drive. Completely outsourcing either of these parenting joys crossed my mind, but there is no service to coach your kids to poo in the potty, and the Great State of Texas requires twenty hours of driving outside of driving school.
So my younger son could log some of these requisite hours, I planned for him to drive us to McDonald’s on a Sunday morning. We would make a mom and son date of it, and treat ourselves to some sausage biscuits.
My son, who normally cannot be roused before noon on a weekend, is up at 8am on the designated Sunday morning, keys in hand and ready to go. After I fortify myself with coffee, we venture to the Golden Arches in our 11 year old, 150,000 mile white Lexus SUV. I like my sons to drive this car because it is not exactly a babe-magnet.
As we approach the fast food restaurant’s corner, I feel like he is going a little fast, but say nothing. As he passes the entrance I snap, “Aren’t you going to turn?”
And so he does. Immediately he jerks the steering wheel right, without the benefit of the brakes. The SUV veers into the grass and ramps through the small ditch, tearing through the pristine landscaping. The car plows through bushes, hits a curb as it passes the last plant, and then the Lexus catches air before it lands with a crunch on all four tires, at a dead stop. I have a flashback to the General Lee during the Dukes of Hazzard opening credits.
I confirm there are no physical injuries, and I undo my seat belt. I see tears well up in my son’s eyes, as I exit to examine the car.
Pink petunias cling to the windshield wipers that sway back and forth in front of my son’s distressed face. Grass and random vegetation spikes out from the grill, and radiates from the undercarriage. One lonely boxwood, branch trapped in the crease of the hood, dangles, roots exposed, in mild shock.
My son steps out, wipes his eyes and asks, “What are we going to do?”
“Eat sausage biscuits, and then, you will drive us home,” I reply.
“I can’t!” he claims as he drops his face into his hands.
“Yes, you can. Now let’s eat,” I answer.
We ate. And he did slowly drive us home. A six-year-old on a bicycle passed us.
In the end everything is fine. However, in retrospect, the cashier did look rather confused when I tried to order a McBloodyMary.