Just Get In The Car And Drive… by JoAnn

A road with trees and clouds in the sky.

When we first moved to our little town in West TN, I was 9 months pregnant with our youngest daughter Chelsea.  A lot was being thrown at me that I had to adjust to quickly.  I had always been a very nervous driver.  Even though I was now in a much smaller town, the challenge was big for me.  Having only driven in a large city before, I now needed to learn to take long country drives to just about anywhere I needed to go.  Winding back roads, curving into what felt like an endless maze with no direction.  The thought of driving the 19 miles to the “local” Wal-Mart, brought with it much anxiety.  My new baby girl would soon solve my problem.
Chelsea did not like taking naps!  But when I placed her in her car seat, and started my engine, she would sleep for as long as I drove.  So, I decided to put nap time to good use.  I made a daily schedule of going for a drive 1 1/2 to 2 hours before I had to pick up my two older daughters from school.  Chelsea would have a healthy nap, and I would learn my way around the country roads of West TN.
Not only did I learn my way around, these drives became as therapeutic for me as they were for my baby.  I was driving in the middle of the day, on long stretches of rural scenery, and rarely passed a fellow driver.  I began to use this quiet time to pray, meditate, and to think over problems that needed to be solved.  I felt the stress of being a young mother & wife, alone in a new and very different environment, melt away.  I began gaining confidence in my ability to drive and pretty soon, the kids and I were making weekly trips to that “local” Wal-Mart.  What a joy that was for all four of us.  It really was!  These experiences came in very handy as my three daughters grew older and had more and more activities to attend.  I became the All-American Mom’s Taxi Service.
However, I got very use to seeing my sweet Chelsea in the rear-view mirror as I drove.  It gave me comfort.  But the day came when she was out of that car seat and sitting beside me in the front passenger.  I still miss her little face when I drive those curvy scenic roads.  Alone now with no one in the rear-view mirror but the road behind me.  I still drive for therapy, it melts away stress, and it’s always a sweet remembrance of how it first began. began.