I don't like to brag because I am a modest person not given to superlatives, most of the time with good reason, but I am the driving force in my family. And I recently proved it by driving both of my daughters and their significant others to and from the airport, which amounted to four excursions in a week and a half, so they could go on trips that my wife and I couldn't afford to go on ourselves.
It reminded me of the days when Sue (my wife) and I (myself) would drive Katie and Lauren (our daughters) and often their friends (too many to mention) to and from various destinations and important engagements, including school, the mall, the library, friends' houses, fast-food joints, piano lessons, school concerts, softball practice, softball games, basketball practice, basketball games, band practice, drama club, religious instructions, the movies, the video store, the pet store and the school supply store. Then we would drive home, only to turn right around and go out again.
It's a wonder the car didn't explode.
A lot of people thought I was only 3 feet tall because the only time they saw me was when I was sitting in the car. (These same people, incidentally, thought Sue was 1-foot-10.)
Feeding and clothing your children are not nearly as important as driving them all over town every day. Eventually they become teenagers and get their driver's licenses and start bugging you for a car. And when you refuse to buy them one, they begin using yours, leaving you without transportation.
Katie and Lauren are all grown up now and have had their own cars for years. But that did not prevent them from hiring Dad's Livery and Onion Service ("Driving You Crazy Since 1980") for their airport runs.
The first one was made the day we had a blizzard that dumped 2 feet of snow on my driveway. It must have dumped even more on the driveway of the limo driver who was supposed to take Lauren and her fiance, Guillaume, to JFK because the driver got cold feet and canceled the ride. Because the flight was still on, I had to dig out and drive to the airport so Lauren and Guillaume could fly to France to visit his parents, who are wonderfully nice and hospitable people.
A few days later, in what was appropriately a driving rainstorm, I had to drive back to JFK so Katie and her husband, Dave, could fly to North Carolina to visit his parents, who also are wonderfully nice and hospitable people.
The next trip was made to pick up Lauren and Guillaume when they returned on an evening flight. Neither snow, nor rain, nor dark of night could keep Dad from his appointed rounds. This time I took Sue, who fell asleep in the passenger seat on the way down. "Some company I am," she said when she woke up, adding: "We're doing all the driving and we're not going anywhere."
As they say in France, au contraire! That's because, on another snowy day, I had to make a final run to JFK, where I should have my own parking space, to pick up Katie and Dave.
All told, I traveled almost 500 miles, which makes me wonder: Can I get frequent driver miles? If so, Sue and I may go on a trip ourselves. I just hope someone can take us to the airport.
Stamford Advocate columnist Jerry Zezima is the author of Leave It to Boomer. More info at www.jerryzezima.blogspot.com. E-mail: JerryZ111@optonline.net.
Copyright 2010 by Jerry Zezima