01 March 2010

Sneak Peak into the Future

Paul: Maxi, how was school today?

Max:  (blank stare)

Paul:  Did you play with anyone?

Max:  Maxi played.

Me:  Did you play with Lena?  Daniel?  Isabella? Jonathon?

Max:  Maxi played.

Paul:  What did you play with?

Max:  Maxi played.

Me:  Did you play with Autos?  KugelbahnPuppenwagen?

Max:  Maxi played.

Me:  Did you sing? Dance? Cook?

Max:  (rolls eyes at his hopeless parents and sighs)

Me to Paul:  Wow, I didn't think it was supposed to be this hard to communicate until his teenage years.

Learning How to Drive, Once Again

For the better part of the last year, Paul and I have been debating about whether to buy a car or move closer into the city.  We loved the idea of having a small carbon blue print, not to mention minimal transportation costs.  Moving into the city has its additional benefits of being closer to things like restaurants and shopping.  However transporting two small children around the city via public transportation had become burdensome, an enormous time suck and incredibly stressful.  Finally the car won out.

However, I hate driving, I always have.  My first day of drivers education back when I was 15 1/2 years old, my instructor Mr. Norman screamed "JUMPING CATFISH, JUDAS PRIEST and JIMINY CRICKET" from the passenger's seat at regular intervals.  I went home that afternoon crying, and swore that I would never return to driving school.  Luckily my oldest and wiser sister dangled the carrot of freedom in front of me, persuading me to return with a new determination to learn. 

Sixteen years later, Paul and I bought a manual transmission car, and once again I am learning how to drive.  Luckily, my drivers license transferred from Virginia, so I did not have to pay for the very expensive German driving classes and tests.  However, to preserve our marriage, we decided it was best for me to learn how to drive stick with a professional.  Not only would we have been screaming at each other within a half-hour, but I am learning on a transmission that belongs to someone else.

This past Thursday was my first time driving. Overall, I'm doing much better than the first time I drove automatic.  The biggest problem I'm having is that I keep stalling at intersections.  Sixteen years of driving automatic, and my instinct is to ease up on the brake when the light turns on green.  This does not work with a manual transmission.  Luckily, my instructor is no Mr. Norman, and she was very calm and collected every time I stalled the car.

After my first class, I was relieved that I had taken the class with a professional.  While, I realize that we might end up spending almost as much on lessons as we would have to buy an automatic, I feel like I am learning an invaluable skill.  I am hoping that with this new skill, I will feel like I have better control of the car, and maybe I will enjoy driving just a little more.