One of the things that I love about raising a child is seeing all of the little things she does that are like me or like her daddy. It’s so amazing to see things in her personality come out . P and I spend a lot of time saying “Oh, she is so your child today” or “She gets that from you”.
When I was pregnant with Caroline, I read an article in Martha Stewart Living that talked about DNA and how sometimes children will actually have more traits in common with a grandparent than their parents due to recessive genes that skip a generation. I could give y’all the whole rundown from 10th grade Biology about how two green peas always make green peas, but that would be impossible since all I remember from 10th grade Biology is that dissecting a pig completely grossed me out. I was so thankful that I wasn’t in Honors Biology because that would’ve required dissecting a cat and since I was in school in Beaumont, no telling where that cat might have come from originally.
Anyway, the point is that this evening I realized a trait that Caroline has received not only from me, but from my daddy, otherwise known as Bops.
Bops and driving are a legendary combination. He is the most mild mannered, laid back guy y’all could ever hope to meet, but you get him behind the wheel of a car and it’s as if his whole personality changes. All of a sudden everyone else on the road is an idiot that can’t drive fast enough or doesn’t go soon enough when the light turns green. It is an amazing phenomenon to observe.
I could write a horror novel about the two weeks that we spent driving all over Sicily with Bops behind the wheel of an eight passenger van. We curved around the highest mountains I have ever seen at speeds that defy human logic. My poor brother- in -law had to just hunker down in the very back of the van with a book because he couldn’t bear to look. He could just tell from our screams when the driving had gotten especially perilous.
At one point we were driving down some small country road when all of a sudden Bops realized he needed to take a right. You haven’t tasted adventure until you’ve made a sharp right in a top heavy eight passenger van at 70 miles an hour. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes.
But here’s the thing. Bops is a good driver, he’s just an adventurous kind of driver who gets completely frustrated by drivers who aren’t paying attention to what they are doing. I have many fond memories of riding in the car with my dad while he taught me phrases like “they should just bomb this whole freeway” or “that guy ought to be shot for driving like that”. It shaped my childhood.
However, those that live in glass houses can’t throw stones. I have inherited this tendency towards road rage. There is nothing that makes me angrier than someone driving 40 mph in the passing lane on the freeway, or being slow to go at a red light, or the mother of all my pet peeves, backing up and pulling forward 85 times to get out of a parking place when CLEARLY they have enough room to just back up and go.
I have conversations out loud with these drivers and I’ll admit they are not always friendly, although let me state for the record that I am good about keeping my mouth shut when Caroline is in the car because y’all know that little pitchers have big ears (and no, I don’t really get what that means except that they repeat everything they hear usually at inopportune times). I’m not saying I’m proud, I’m just saying that I realize I have inherited a tendency toward road rage and no, I’m not packing heat or anything, so don’t get nervous.
Lately, I have noticed signs that Caroline has inherited this driving gene. It all started a few weeks ago when we were driving home from church and she was beyond upset that there were cars ahead of us on the freeway and insisted we needed to “Beat those cars Mama! Go FASTER, Mama, they’re beating us!”.
Then tonight on our way to a birthday party, which I’ll tell y’all about tomorrow, it was confirmed that as far as driving goes, she is like her Mama and her Bops.
We were stuck in traffic due to the fact that we live in a city where everyone needs to stop and look at every orange cone on the side of the road, when I hear my little backseat driver say “We’re NEVER going to get there because of ALL these BAD drivers. I’d like to kill ’em”.
And the people said Amen.