Misha was surprised that she could remember when she first learned to drive. Typically, she could never remember details of any events that were traumatic. And in her mind learning to drive had always been traumatic.
Her mother never got a drivers license after she drove her parent’s Ford off the road into a muddy field when she was learning to drive. Misha’s sister never learn to drive either because she was afraid she would do the something similar and crash the car. Misha’s dad loudly announced that he was tired of being the only person in the house to chauffeur everyone around and that Misha WOULD get a drivers license whether she liked it or not.
Misha’s initial training began in her drivers ed course which met at the hideous hour of 6:30 in the morning during the spring semester of her junior year in high school. To augment the training she spent Sundays mornings practicing her driving with her dad. That lasted until a severe breakdown of communication occurred when they were waiting at a red light. Her intention was to drive through the intersection when the light turned green. Her dad, though, thought she was going to make a right turn.
“Why are you waiting? Go,” he urged.
“No, I can’t. It’s red.
“Yes you can. There’s no one coming.”
“No, I can’t,” Misha said with a little more emphasis
“Just drive, would you?!”
There was nothing Misha hated more than to get hollered at by her dad, so she floored it and plowed through the intersection on the red light. Her dad grip the dashboard and swore, “What the hell are you doing?!“
That was the last time she went practice driving with her dad. This task now fell upon her grandfather, another family chauffeur, who also wanted another driver to rely on. Misha and her grandpa would go out on Saturday mornings. They avoided the highway and took roads through the countryside. Her grandpa would point out places that held memories for him and lamented those things that had changed. He would tell her stories of their family coming to the area. He told her funny stories of his days working for the movie studios. He even told her some ghost stories that he swore were true.
Misha eventually got her license and indeed became the chauffeur for her mom, sister, grandfather and dad (who got over his initial fright and consternation when he realized that he could sit back and relax on a Sunday drive). She had many more excursions with her grandpa.
Misha, in retrospect, concluded that learning to drive was not as traumatic as she once thought. In fact, it was downright enjoyable.