I heard about Leon and how he could work miracles as it relates to teaching someone how to drive. And we were desperate. The first six hours when someone else was teaching her went well, but the times she was driving the car with Josh in the passenger seat were not going so well. The day they drove into the driveway and only he got out, I knew I needed to intervene. She sat in the car, frustrated and emotional. He went inside, quiet and aware he wasn’t very good at this.
I called Leon and got Ruby on his calendar. He showed up, Ruby got in the driver’s seat and didn’t come back home for two hours. They did this for three days in a row.
Josh was very interested in how it went. “Well, Ruby, how did it go?”
“It went really well,” she said confidently.
“Really? So you drove good? No problems?” Josh asked curiously, digging for more.
“Yes, I drove well. And there were no problems at all.”
Still unsatisfied with her answers, Josh continues, “What did he say? Did he tell you to STOP or did he remind you to put your blinker on? Did he have to tell you to speed up?”
“No, he just talked to me about other stuff.”
“Really???? He didn’t say anything about the way you go over speed bumps?” Josh asked.
“No, the only thing he ever did was move the steering wheel a little to the left because I was driving close to the shoulder of the road. That’s all.” Ruby said, more assured of herself than ever.
So when Sunday came around and Ruby was going to drive us to church, Josh announced, “Just call me Leon. I am going to be just like Leon. You’re going to drive, and I am going to relax in the passenger seat.”
Josh is a lot of wonderful things—kind, generous, funny, hard working, diligent, smart, handy, and more. But relaxed wouldn’t be on the list. In actuality, he would be rather intense. He has strong opinions, strong beliefs, and he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes. He also feels strongly about living, so his intensity ratcheded up a few notches when he sat in the passenger seat with Ruby. He couldn’t help but coach and train and raise his voice. It was not a good combination—innocent 15 year old girl with lots of emotions learning to drive with intense dad who speaks his mind bluntly.
So in a mid-life crisis of sorts, Josh is attempting to change his persona to Leon. He’s attempting to take everything with a grain of salt, letting things go, not coaching at every turn, & enjoying life with all it’s curve balls. He’s channeling his inner Leon in hopes that his intensity level decreases a bit. Of course, we love Josh just the way he is…..but we welcome “Leon” to make an appearance any time a situation calls for a laid back response.
Fist bump to all the parents out there wishing we had a brake on the passenger side while we put our lives in the hands of our children. Reach down deep for your own inner Leon. I believe in you.