For those of you who don't know me or know me very well, you probably don't know that I grew up in a really small town. I mean small. I mean a town of less than 400 people.
Growing up in this small of a town there are certain things that happened that don't happen in the city. People left their houses unlocked. Cars were left running while the owner ran into the grocery store and kids were left in cars.
Now, not only did I grow up in a small town but I grew up in the '70's when child safety laws were basically non-existent. Kids sat in the front seats, unbuckled. Back seats were more of a playground than a means to get from one place to another. We even used to ride up in the space above the back seat and the rear window.
So, knowing all of these things, it may not surprise you to learn that I actually started to drive a car at about the age of 4. Now, of course, I couldn't reach the peddles but this is how it would happen . . .
I remember that my parents owned a gray or silver Vega. I remember driving to Sikeston, about 25 miles from our house, and my dad would sit me on his lap. I would steer the wheel and use the blinkers and he would press the breaks and the accelerator. Now, I'm sure that there were times that he would put his hands on the wheel but, for the most part, I drove that car at 4 years old!
Can you even fathom a parent letting their child do that now?
This happened throughout my childhood until I got too big to sit on his lap. Then, he started letting me drive our car, it was a white Pontiac something, by myself at about the age of 12. I would drive from right out of city limits to our church that was about 4 or 5 miles away. I did the peddles, the steering, the blinker. Everything.
I know that some of you reading this are thinking "I cannot believe that her parents were so irresponsible!" But, remember, I lived in the country and it was a different time. I think everyone had driven a car, tractor, combine or something WAY before 16. The only thing 16 meant was that I had a card with my picture on it.
I don't know why I have been thinking about driving lately. I think Kanin must have asked me when I learned to drive one day. You'd better believe that there is no way that I'm telling him about driving at his age! He would never quit bugging me to let him try.
I guess maybe if we lived in the country he would already have driven by now . . . just kidding!