Sing it with me!
Oh, precious, precious Freedom. Independance!, Freedom's very close cousin and lastly, Confidence which is the "wind beneath their wings". (siiiing it, you know you want to)
How I love you all!
Driving, friends driving. Driving = freedom. Do YOU remember the first time you sat behind a steering wheel, alone? I do. I was 17 years old and had just gotten my driver's license. I asked my parents if I could drive to my friend Glenna's house. They debated and my dad handed me the keys to his truck. No words were spoken but I knew to be safe and return it the way I found it. I got into the driver's seat, excited and a little scared. My first trip alone! I could do anything I wanted! Go anywhere I wanted! Well, within reason, of course. But still... I was on my way and I remember two things I did that seemed special. I drove the entire way with the windows down. You never get to drive with the windows down with your parents. The big squares! Oh, but this was so special! By myself, with the windows down, and the music on. And then, the second thing, feeling incredibly self-conscious... I sang, really loud, with the music. It was exhilarating! No one to hear how bad my voice was. No one to notice when I didn't know the words or laugh at my "singing face". It was heaven. I got to her house, parked with ease and rang her bell. She joined me in the truck, and we drove, oh, I don't know where, we just drove, and along the way I asked her, shyly, "do you sometimes sing in the car when you are by yourself". She said, "of course"! And together we sang at the top of our lungs, some old country song or other, all the way to our destination. She was a good friend. That was a great car trip.
There is no other way to get around in Austin, Texas and so from that day on I was driving myself. To and from school events, to and from work, to and from anything that required my attendance. When I got married and had children I was in charge of driving them everywhere. Doctors, play time with friends, grandmas' houses, etc. I ran the errands, picked up people from the airport and gave rides to friends in need. My car was an extension of my ability to freely act as an adult, doing adult things, and performing necessary adult activities.
Since we have been in Poland I have driven the car by myself (kids don't count), with no other adult in it, including Martin...4 times. Only 4 times in 7 months have I been behind the wheel in charge of where I go, what I do, and how much I get done, and able to sing at the top of my lungs while doing it. 4 times.
Today was one of the times. The 4th time. I had the children in the back of the car and we were driving home from Catechesis of the Good Shepard (they do have it and we have joined - amazing!). Once before I have made the same trek by myself (my 3rd venture out by myself) but I was so nervous making the trip alone, making sure I turned at the correct Rondo Mocjebjsbskie (they all sound the same to me!), in front of the correct gray-building-that-looks-like-every-other-gray-building and pulled into the correct Church (there are 3) on that street that I demanded the children make no sound as I clenched my teeth and slowly made my way. We made it fine. I knew the route.
Today? Well today I had confidence! Oh so important when driving a tank down the narrow roads of Krakow littered with pedestrians, "L" (student driver's! ugh.) vehicles, and any number of delicious winter potholes. I had confidence. I turned on the radio aaaaand... I got this...
Not a fan.
... and I got this...
...and I sang. At the top of my lungs. And I only got one eye roll, from my 6 year old. But what does he know? He's never known such freedom.