“Shotgun!” Siblings clamoring for seats in the minivan, hollering Dibs on the front seat.
‘Funny, though: once we’ve earned our driver’s license, that coveted spot becomes the hot potato. In fact, with some drivers, I’d rather curl up in the trunk. I fancy myself a mind reader, but never anticipate that jerk-and-swerve. It’s torture!
As sweet as you are, admit it: sometimes you want to be Captain Kirk. But other times you just want to be Scottie: free reign, but leave the jerk-and-swerve to the Cap’n.
I’m quite accustomed to riding shotgun: middle of three daughters (not the oldest, nor the baby); married 29 years; secretary for 36. (Or, it could just be that I drive like a granny—and people swipe my keys.)
But, while I may not like it much, taking the backseat has its advantages. It keeps me prepared. There are ongoing constants in my life that suddenly become free radicals! People who were riding merrily along with me–-Czhoom! No more shotgun. I kick into Mother Hen mode: “What happened? I just know I said the wrong thing (again)! What to do?!” But if I remember I’m not the P.I.C. (Person in Charge), I regain perspective. Sure, I probably messed up (those are the odds). But nobody answers to me, nobody owes me an explanation. These free radicals are just that: free: they can hop out at any stop.
But Mother Hen wants the chicks back in the car; her ducks in a row. The feathers are flying, and she can’t catch them. She wants to frantically hunt and peck, but has to stay where she belongs—in the passenger seat, buckled up. With every bump in the road, she feels vulnerable—like in those minivans with no engine out in front (I hate those): you’re constantly on point, as if any minute you’re gonna crash.
Whew. I guess that’s the baggage that comes with riding shotgun. Riders don’t tell you why, they just outgrow the pecking order. Until some distant weigh station, renewal, or flashing light, Momma Duck just has to keep on riding.
‘Guess I’ll sit back, open my Book, and trust the Driver.