Yesterday afternoon my son drove me to the farmers’ market. He passed his driver’s license on the first day of vacation but hasn’t been driving at all for the entire summer. First he was away from home for three weeks, then he joined his lovely parents for a vacation, and they preferred being the chauffeurs of a seventeen year old rather than being chauffeured by the same seventeen year old.
But school was starting the following morning, and I figured it would be a good idea for my son to get reacquainted with the car.
“It’s weird,” he said as he sat behind the wheel.
How weird? I thought, clinging to my seat belt, but I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want him to feel my anxiety.
“It’s like I’m learning again,” he added, elaborating without my probing.
I observed my son’s prudent driving, which matched his words.
And I thought that tomorrow I would also return to something that used to be familiar. Would I jump easily into my writing routine, the one that follows school and family schedules? Or would I, like my son, feel weird and like starting from scratch? After all, I had planned a whole different summer and didn’t write as much as I wanted to.
Meanwhile my son was driving down the long steep mountain road that leads to the farmers’ market. He was slower than he was in June but faster than he was in the fall after Drivers Ed.
After five minutes his shoulders relaxed, and I did too, admiring the beauty of the Sierras in the distance.
He pulled in a busy parking lot and parked with brio.
“I’m cool,” he said, stuffing the keys in his jeans’ pocket.
Indeed he was.
Today is back to school.
And I’m happy to type that although I felt a little weird when I sat in front of my laptop in my small den, I am writing again.