Ok usually it's me being impatient with my 17 yr old girl, but this week my husband hit his limit.
"I told her she could have the money from all those beer bottles in the garage if she took them back....it's been 3 weeks!"
"I'm going to sell that 2nd-hand mini we bought her - she never drives it!" (battery went dead as it sat in the driveway for 2 months)
He took her driving one day a few weeks ago, and apparently grew impatient (understatement) when she tried to shift into 5th gear (it's a standard) and ground the gears instead....on the highway.
So a few meltdowns later, and many stalls at busy intersections, with cars are beeping their horns and yelling at the poor girl, (a good samaritan helped push the car off the road and got it started for her), she was petrified of driving the 'new' car.
Yesterday, I insisted we take the mini to the physiotherapist appointment she had. She was doing great at all the stop signs, starting it with hardly a catch, until we got to a busier street with traffic lights. Stopped at a red light, we went through 2 more red lights until she could get it going again, and then we whipped into a parking lot while she had melt down # 35.
I took over the wheel, and started noticing what I was doing with the clutch, how fast the engine was revving when I put my foot on the gas, the exact sequence of events, so I could explain it to her. She was still too shaken to drive. But she listened and watched.
On the way back, I was late for my osteo appointment (yes, we're all in need of therapy), so I drove straight to my appointment instead of dropping her off at home. She would drive the last few blocks into the town, and I pulled over so she could do this. I told her to give it more gas and see if that helped, but mostly I talked to her about the mind over matter, the fear of stalling, the mental block she had created.
Lo and behold, she drove me into town with no stalling. Took off, and came back to get me an hour later, in the same car! (she could have gone home and switched to an automatic). She also loaded up the car with beer bottles (258!) and we took them back to the store.
It was her night to cook supper, burgers on the menu, so after she had done that too, I gave her a big hug and told her I would tell Dad all about her good day.
"I'm so proud of her", he said later, amazed that beer bottles and car driving fears had been taken care of in one day.
I am so proud of Caitie too! She faced her fears, and even drove the car to her dance class later that night. It's not about the fear, it's about getting it right enough times that you build a little confidence, and have a least one success to convince yourself 'I can do it!'
If Caitie only knew what a life lesson that is for me, in mid-life....
ps I am also writing a blog at owning pink, there's a link on this blog
if you're curious