'I'M SCARED BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW WHERE WE GO NEXT AND MY INSTINCT IS TO GRAB THE WHEEL'
When I grew up, having your own vehicle was a status symbol. But where I grew up, it was crucial.
We were 2,500 people surrounded by forest that seemed to stretch on forever. No farms, no ranches, no cities or towns for an hour in any direction, by the speed limit, anyway.
It was like a tiny island.
When I bought my motorcycle from a friend, something changed. I thought the world opened up. I could go everywhere and I tried. I was in complete control. For one week, at least, before it was stolen.
I often think of that week in my life. I was bitter about the outcome but that didn't last. It was overshadowed by something significant. I never really understood what until now.
Trauma is like that.
My son got his licence this week and it feels a little like I went through a windshield.
First off, that makes me old enough to have children old enough to drive. That’ll screw up anybody’s head. Seems like yesterday he demanded to walk to school without me, then did. I know because I followed him.
Except that wasn’t yesterday. That was ten years ago. I feel a sudden urge to do something childish-slash-dangerous.
I shouldn’t be so weirded out. I knew this was coming. Those are my hands imprinted on the dash while we practiced driving. I should have been more prepared for the next step too. I’ve been driving with my son to and from work long enough for him to stash away enough money to shop for a truck.
Just like that, he can drive.
And he’ll have his own wheels.
Face meet windshield.
“Are you sure about this? You can just borrow ours for now.”
“I understand. Did you factor in insurance? They really ding you as a new driver. And you have to pay that every year.”
“Plus the cost of gas. It’s going back up, you know.”
“But you're not thinking of what else you can do with your money.”
I know where this road leads. And we’re going awfully fast now. I want to jam on the brakes and slow it down.
But I can’t.
We’re already here.
I’m not in that driver’s seat anymore. I’m scared because I don’t know where we go next and my instinct is to grab the wheel.
Then I remember that week, and I know. It wasn’t about a motorcycle, a road or even the freedom it brought.
It was when I understood. I was ready for what’s next. I see it in him now.
“Yes, I'll help you find your truck this weekend.”
— Marshall Jones is the editor of iNFOnews.ca