Driving Blind

Driving Blind

Last week, my ten-year-old daughter rode with me to get her brother a new birth certificate. I have no idea where the original is. Out of seven kids, I’ve never lost a birth certificate. My only thought is that we used it for football registration when he still played youth football, and somehow it ended up in the wrong place.

But I spent weeks searching through everything and I couldn’t find it to save my life. Ironically, the missing document belongs to Tucker. And he’s the one child who needs everything to be ordered perfectly.

I remember when I was like that. All my paperwork was neatly filed and there were never dust bunnies under the couch. I’d say somewhere around 2003, my orderly nature started to crash and burn, exactly when Tucker was born. But it didn’t completely crash and burn until I added four more babies to the mix.

If you’ve never pushed a stroller built for four, you probably can’t truly grasp the overwhelming logistics of raising seven kids. And there’s no way I could possibly paint an accurate picture in less than a thousand words, so just take my word for it. Somewhere along my journey utter chaos became the norm.

Somehow, we’ve survived. And I managed to teach Blondie to drive, followed by my Dyl Pickle. But somehow it seems like I should’ve had more time before Tucker was ready to get behind the wheel. Maybe that’s the real reason I can’t find his original birth certificate. Maybe I’m just not ready for that tiny little baby with a fussy disposition to stop leaning on me.

Note to self: he can go get milk every time we run out from now on. Surely that’s enough to calm my angst.

But back to my journey to replace his official documents. I love to drive the backroads when I have to go to Temple. I love the twists and turns and the nature-filled views. I’ve covered this route for 23 years now, and still, I feel a sense of adventure when I head down those roads. Or maybe it’s nostalgia, who knows.

This day was no different. I was floating through the curves, climbing up and down the hills, when I drifted onto the shoulder just enough to go around a huge pothole left by the latest monsoon rains. As my car crossed the yellow line, the car made that loud awful noise that happens when you drive across the grated concrete.

Suddenly, my little DivaKK asked me the funniest question. “Are those bumps really there to help blind people drive?”

WAIT! WHAT?! Apparently, she didn’t realize I was being sarcastic when I told my husband to stop driving by Braille.

“Do you really think blind people can drive?” The absurdity almost split me in two. She had the same confused expression I often see my Blondie make.

Then I spent a good ten minutes explaining that there’s more to driving that staying between the lines. There are millions of hazards out there. We can’t just go around driving blind.

Then, I thought to myself, that’s what we do as parents. We rely on the pain of the grated concrete to keep us between the lines. And we can’t see all the dangers coming our way. All we can do is try our best and hold on to faith for the rest.

Some days, it’s smooth sailing, and other days, flash floods are in the way. But we always have the promise of a new day ahead.

Today, I opened an envelope from DPS. Tucker is officially teenage driver #3, but I’ve been down this path a few times, so for once, I’m not driving blind.

Did I mention this journey begins in a 1974 Dodge Charger? But that’s a story for another day…


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