Fasten Your Seatbelts

The conversation between me and my 5 year-old son the first time I got behind the wheel after a 20-year hiatus from driving while living in NYC:

Leo: “Mom, do you even know how to drive?”
Me (defensively): “Of course I do!”
Leo: “Then how come I’ve never seen you drive?”
Me: “You were in the car but you were sleeping.”

It had come to this. Lying to my five-year old to make myself feel better. A little known but not un-common side effect of living in NYC since your late teens is that you don’t know how to drive, or if you do you could go years without getting behind the wheel. In fact, I’ve known some born and bred New Yorkers who didn’t even have a driver’s license. The truth was, I was shaking in my boots the first few times I got behind the wheel. It took all the courage I could muster to drive 40 minutes to Target for the first time, but despite the crazy rode rage lady who gave me the finger after I cut her off near the light (I told the kids she was speaking to us in sign language), it all worked out okay.

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