The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

April 12, 2013

LEVINE: Watch out, new driver coming

My continued quest of feeling older took another step toward that direction.

We celebrated my daughter’s third birthday this week. And just to make sure my scalp didn’t stop producing gray hairs, my wife and I bought our daughter a car.

Sure, it’s only about an eighth of the size of a real car, but it still has four wheels, a large battery and can be operated with a foot pedal.

Wasn’t this moment supposed to happen in...oh, I don’t know...30 more years?

Instead, my girl wants to drive everywhere, even in the rain.

On our way to gymnastics Wednesday, she motioned us to go ahead without her, while her pink Barbie mobile sat waiting for her in the garage.

“I’ll drive, Dad,” she said.

With rain dropping on my head and my car door half-opened, I sat in awe of those words.

“Since the top is down on your car, you can’t drive in the rain,” I said, hoping the rain would continue to pour down on me.

She reluctantly jumped in, but I have a sneaking suspicion this won’t be the end of that conversation.

Growing up, I always thought the kid-sized cars were neat. I’m not sure if I ever let my desires known that I would like to own one, but every kid dreams of acting like Mom and Dad racing down the highway — albeit at 1 mile per hour.

My wife and I figured this day would come. Every time we go to a store that has these cars available, our daughter races toward the display, and jumps in the driver’s seat.

She turns the steering wheel and makes driving noises as she imagines herself cruising down the road, with her hair blowing in the wind, much like Mom and Dad (little does she know that Mom and Dad don’t really know about our hair blowing in the wind while driving, since having a convertible as an adult is not as accessible as being on every toy shelf).

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