As we cruise along on this journey of life, think about it as the most awesome road trip!

Our expedition starts from the time we’re born, through childhood. We start out as passengers, counting on someone else to steer the ship that will take us on the voyage of our lifetime.  Because our parents serve as the drivers in the beginning of our life, it’s up to us to stay awake, take in the scenery, and get out and do some exploring along the way.  Most importantly, we must pay attention and learn how to steer, when to brake, step on the gas and when to slow down!

The older we get, the more we see, learn, and experience, and the more we begin to slowly take control of the steering wheel.  If we have really cool, smart parents, they’ll allow us to take the wheel while we sit in their lap. They keep one hand close enough to the controls so they can jump in and take over if there happens to be some obstacles or traffic jams along the way.

Some of us aren’t as fortunate as others to have parents who are great navigators.  Some of us are forced to take the wheel on our own and drive ourselves before we’re ready and able to really be in control.  Those early drivers must learn on their own, or with very little guidance.  They can decide to find other drivers who will take control, figure it out and learn on their own, or just park the car and wait for someone to give them a ride.

My father was an amazing driving teacher. He made me learn to drive by parallel parking a big pickup truck with a 4 horse trailer attached!  He made sure that both of my hands were firmly placed on the steering wheel and I used my rear-view mirrors.  He made sure I knew where I was going, yet allowed me to change course if I thought there might be a better way to get there. He also made it OK if I made a wrong turn or hit a curb!

Most importantly, my father taught me to pay attention to the other drivers around me and keep my eye on the road ahead.  I wasn’t allowed to complain if the road got a little bumpy, it started to rain, or there was a traffic jam because those things just helped me become a better driver.

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