I put the M on the phone to the D for a long time today, as he called and said he was having a quiet day, and asked how I was doing, and then how Mary was doing. Actually I think the reason he called me was just because Mary doesn't have a phone. And thank all common decency for that. So I put the D on loudspeaker and went off to have some peace and quiet, actually I had had enough of calling around for the day as well, and just retired to my room before doing some blogging, as you can see.
I went back down to the garage after an hour, or maybe it was half an hour, I don't really know, since I heard the muffled conversation die, and so I assumed the call was over, which it was. I said Mary how's the D-man? She said he is working on a new old car. I said that sounds particularly D-like. She said he gets to drive around all day testing his new cars. I said good for him. She talked for a while about various bits and pieces the D-man had taught her, something called an influctuator, and an overdrive gasket, actually I have no idea. And then out of the blue, she said Livi why can Dylan drive everywhere he wants to? I said because Dylan is a mechanic, and that's his job. I can't drive all day because I have work to do, and also because I don't like driving all day, up and back to work is fine though. Mary said tomorrow can we go on a drive after church again? I said oh sure that sounds like a good idea, we both could use an outing. She said can you drive real fast and scare the pedestrians? I said Mary that's not what a responsible driver does. I care about pedestrians, maybe they'll have a sudden urge to invite me over for dinner. Besides, you can't just go doing what you want wherever. I'm happy to drive tomorrow Mary, but it sure is a good thing you can't drive yourself.
I had regret the moment I spoke it. She said, "why not?" and I was kind of stunned for an answer. I mean, she hadn't asked me these things before. I guess because I hadn't anticipated these things before. Or maybe I never wanted her to do these kind of things before. Oh wow, I'm a parent, aren't I? She said to me, I bet Dylan could teach me how to drive. I said no Mary, there's no way I'm allowing that. Besides, you don't probably have all the parts to drive yourself anyway, it's all manual steering. She said but Dylan is a genius, he could do it. I said but Mary that would cost money, and besides I'm the designated driver. She said then I'll pay for it on my credit card. I said NO, MARY, NO. No, no, no way no. Then I quickly ran back up to my dinner.
Oh no, what stage of parenthood is this that nobody prepared me for? Is she leaving the nest? Is she becoming a rebel? Should I become more kind or disciplinarian towards her? Where's the How to Raise Cars for Dummies? Because I am one.