Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Maty learns to drive
Getting settled in America is a lot of work.
The little immigrant gal from Africa has already studied English at PCC, earned her state certification as a nursing assistant, and been awarded her Permanent Resident (Green) card courtesy of the federal government of the United States. In the future, there is another certification to earn, more education, and full United States citizenship.
But the immediate goal is an Oregon Driver's License. It's something Maty needs not just for practical reasons, but for personal fulfillment.
So a couple months ago, Maty got her state-issued Instruction Permit. I'm teaching her to drive.
I'll be honest. I had considerable doubt about the wisdom of this endeavor. "I'd rather stay married to her than teach her to drive." That was my line of thinking.
It turned out to be nonsense.
On Saturday, Maty drove us all the way to Grand Ronde. Sixty-some miles in heavy weekend traffic. It went smoothly. I won't say there weren't some --let's call them "animated" --discussions about driving tactics on the way down. I take my job as driving instructor seriously, after all. But she did great.
The reward on arrival was a delicious supper at the Cedar Plank Buffet in Spirit Mountain. Maty loves the fresh-out-of-the-water crab. I could tell she was proud of her accomplishment by the way she smiled when I praised her. It was a full-grin smile, a smile that would not be denied.
I took the wheel going home. We stopped in Wilsonville and took in Life of Pi. We talked the entire time.
There have been trials this year. We faced them together and we're doing alright. The trust between us has grown. We've risked reliance and it's paid off. Every time.
It makes me laugh: Did I really worry about teaching her to drive? What a ridiculous notion!