When I was young, there were a few small amusement parks within a short drive. Ones where the “big” roller coaster had one big dip, nothing much else. And a carousel made in the 14th century, (or so it seemed judging by the music and the outdated horses.) My favorite ride was the “turnpike”. I would get into an impressive, albeit cheap imitation, of a real car. It had a real gas pedal and a real brake and a steering wheel that actually steered the car! (It also DIDN’T have a metal rod in the middle of the road to guide the driving, OR a seat belt!) I would proudly drive up and over the hills and around the bends, expertly stopping at the end without hitting the car in front of me. I had illusions of driving a “real” car when I was older.

And so it was with excitement that I agreed to go with Marie to drive a go cart. The same thing, right? Pretend little car. Gas, brake, steering wheel. Nice road to drive on, great memories!

I naively positioned myself down into the go cart, somewhat difficult to do because being limber is not one of my strong points. It took a while to put on the safety harness, which was invented by the same person who invented the Rubik’s cube. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get mine to fit until the embarrassing moment when the attendant helped make my harness larger to accommodate my…um…”assets”, (liabilities?)

Once properly positioned, I waved the thumbs up sign to my daughter who was in the car behind. I couldn’t turn around to see her, of course, being so strapped into the car not a muscle in my body would turn even a smidgen. But I heard Marie screech, letting me know she agreed it was a thumbs up situation.

Being first was amusing, because it took a while for me to push the gas pedal down hard enough to give the car gas. As everyone else anxiously waited behind me, I took off out of the gate at a crawl! As soon as I was on the “road”, hugging the right lane in fear, everyone else easily passed me.

This was SOOOO not the turnpike ride I remembered from my youth. It was very noisy and bumpy and the centrifugal force when turning corners necessitated me holding onto the steering wheel with all of my strength, (which got increasingly difficult as my hands started to sweat.) Worst of all, despite the restraints, my “assets” bounced up and down uncomfortably. The parents sitting in the viewing stands were silently laughing at me, of course. (It was at that point that I realized the PARENTS were WATCHING, not driving. Hmmmmm.)

Despite being the first one to take off, I was the last to arrive back at the gate. The final embarrassment was people watching as I tried to maneuver myself up and out of the car. An impossible task, until two of the attendants came over and took my hands and pulled me out.

Oh, no, not the turnpike ride of my youth. The whole thing was quite unsettling until I saw the joy on my daughter’s face, (and her laughter that she “beat me”.) She was thrilled that we had done it together. And it was worth every bumpy, humiliating moment.


Comments on: "Ah…the Joys of Driving!" (19)

  1. How wonderful!! Sounds like a fun time!

  2. georgiakevin said:

    Your posts are always so much fun to read, you write so well, it is easy for your readers to get caught up in your post1

  3. What we do for love!!! Been there! Great post.

  4. THAT is one hilarious post! 🙂

  5. i can feel the great sound Wooonnnnnnnnnnn!!!

  6. All Marie wants is LOVE from Mom! You are a trooper to ride in a go-kart!!! Kudos and hats off to you! 🙂

  7. LOL…Sounds fun!

  8. Congrats Mom; You made a kids day and and gained the admiration of many folks with this post. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Reblogged this on Make Smart Moves and commented:
    A wonderful post and excellent example of how to make a kid’s day a memorable experience that they’ll remember a lifetime.

  10. Thank goodness you don’t mind sacrificing your dignity for a really worthwhile cause. I bet those other parents were green with envy – not having the guts to have a go!

  11. I want to be the mum who rides go karts instead of the mum who watches one day!

  12. I totally agree with Busydarling, except I want to be that grandmother. 😉 You gave Marie the ride of her life! Good for you!

  13. Youth is wasted on the young they say!

  14. How wonderful. I want a mom like you!

  15. You are the best mom, EVER!

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