Wednesday, August 26, 2015


[Originally published in the Miami News-Record on August 9, 2015]

If you’ve ever seen the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? you’ll likely remember the scene where Everett was in dire need of some pomade and a car part. He was told the car part could be there in two weeks. Then when he discovered the store only carried Fop pomade, not Dapper Dan, he was told he could have his pomade in two weeks as well. He exclaimed, “Well, ain’t this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!”  Well, come to find out, Hooverton Mountain out here in the wilds of Wyandotte is a geographical oddity as well – we are 40 minutes from four Walmart stores. We can visit Grove, Miami, Joplin and Neosho Walmart all in the same amount of time. It’s almost like we are smack in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle of mass-market retail. We are only 15 minutes from Seneca, so for an item or two I’ll run there instead of having to trek 40 minutes to a Walmart and Abby is always good to pick things up for me on her way home from work – however, Abby is getting ready to move out and my errand-runner will no longer be available. It was starting to look like I was going to have to run my own unscheduled errands. *gasp!*

Sam has been 16 since last November and has had his permit since last summer, but driving was so far down on his list of priorities I was starting to think he was never going to drive. He was the same way about walking, too. His older sister walked at 10 months. We kind of expected him to walk early as well. Nope. The kid was completely content to sit where he was and holler until someone picked him up. He walked at 14 months only because I stopped picking him up when he bellowed. He finally walked only because I think he was afraid we’d stop feeding him and little dude really liked his groceries.

He dragged his feet on finishing his Driver’s Ed program – so much so that I begged for some grace by the company and got a free extension so he could finish and take the final because we needed that discount on his insurance, by golly. He finally finished and was legal to take the test, but refused to drive the car. Or I’d coerce him into driving on the highway, but he’d refuse to drive in town. It was rather frustrating because I just kept thinking about how inconvenient it was going to be to have to put on a bra and makeup to go pick up a loaf of bread.

My husband gave us both a stern talking-to and told him to start driving and me to start making him. We both had to man up so last week he drove in town and I didn’t give in when he begged me to let him stop. It was exhausting for both of us. My Pops asked if he could take him driving and I was so glad to let him I think I cried a little bit. Pops had really helped my drive-shy niece get ready for her test and I was more than willing to let him help Sam. After a day of driving Pops brought my boy back to me and said, “Hon, he’s ready. Let him test.” It was Pops’ faith in him that got the kid his license this past week.

So now, mere weeks before my oldest child moves out into her own place, I have a second child with a driver’s license. He plans to drive himself to a church back-to-school bash this weekend AND to Vo-tech next week. Eek! 

I’m starting to think there’s a conspiracy amongst my children to age their daddy and me as swiftly as they possibly can. There’s a whole lot of growing up going on around here these days. 

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