More from Oregon as Budd E. Shepherd continues the Ed Winkle Blog-
Yesterday I taught my daughter drive.
I needed to move the mower from one end of the farm to the other. Sadie was hanging out with me as her Mom had to start teaching school yesterday.
I looked over at her and said, "You want to learn how to drive?"
She said "ok"
And that was that.
Now she has been setting on my lap and driving for a while. I run the pedals and she steers. A couple weeks ago she steered the swather when we were swathing wheat stubble, so I know she can steer. I've been talking to her about driving with the idea in mind that she would one day soon want to drive on her own. Basically, whenever she can reach the pedals, and is not scared.
I sat beside her and gave her some basic instructions. How to start the truck, how to stop the truck, we practiced slamming on the brakes if there was an emergency. We practiced looking both directions when turning onto a road. I didn't teach her to back up as I'm a forward looking person...Well, that was a bad joke, I didn't want to give her too much information.
Then I got out and let her go for a while. She had a 30 acre field to drive around in before we moved so I let her get the feel of things on her own. The truck is a 1990 Ford F250 4wd with an automatic. I put the transfer case in low so it started out easier and top speed was limited, but I really didn't need to. She is a careful driver.
She was ready when it was time to move. She drove right down the farm road with no problems. At the next field I let her drive some more. It was kind of funny to watch her from a distance. She started and stopped and drove in circles. I could tell she was being careful.
We agreed to keep this whole driving thing low key but she was so proud of herself we had to tell Mom. We broke it too her slowly. To our surprise Mom was cool with it all. We did explain the practice sessions in the big fields, how careful we were, and that the truck was in low range.
Just the same, when it was time for supper, I was very surprised to see my white truck driving slowly down the road. Sadie had driven clean to the other side of the farm, navigating through a mudhole, down a steep hill, and through several turns with deep ditches beside them, all with no problems.
I told her she did a good job. I think the girl must have grown a foot. She is 8 years old.