people drive on the “right” side of the road where I grew up. My mom and my dad gave me my first driving lessons. Years later when I bought my first car I had already moved to country where people drive on the left side of the road. It took a fair bit of adjustment and eventually I got there. not the best driver in the world but I do alright.
Earlier this month my father came to stay with us for a few months, given the nature of where we live, he will need to drive to get places, so, I get to teach him to drive on the “wrong” side of the road. and what fun that is.
My father was an army officer for a big part of his career, he was a leader in many aspects of his work whether in the army or after that in other professions he pursued. so having him sit in the student seat is certainly an uncomfortable change for him, add to that the teacher is his son.
In many ways this experience was worth reflecting on for me. The number of thoughts flooded through my head the emotions/feelings that bubbled up caught my attention. I am sitting in the passenger seat teaching my father the road code, having to learn how to communicate that and be aware of how it’s being understood and monitor how it is being applied as my father drives. I am also remembering how he taught me to drive, how he reacted to my mistakes. Monitoring my emotions and being who I want to be when the roles reversed, especially when I am simultaneously fearing for my life, my car (and others on the road) when he makes mistakes that scare me.
The good news I was open to my father about the process I am going through and he was open about his process. while the end goal for this effort is for him to drive safely and effectively on the left side of the road a by-product of this effort will be individual growth and an improved relationship between my father and I.
Thanks for Reading.