Truck driving mama

First I would like to apologize to any innocent drivers in a nearby urban area who may/may not have been menaced by a woman with a white knuckled grip on the steering wheel of a large white truck. That was me and I am sorry.

I’ve just been tooling around in a mini-van with the speed limit set on “school zone” for a very long time. Earlier this week my beloved mini-van was sidelined for a much-needed repair. I put it off as long as I could but eventually “lady your front wheel is going to fall off’ won out. No problem, we have the truck.

Truckin’

We’ve had a truck for 20 years now. That is a regular 4×4 pickup truck with an 8-foot bed. Not that long or tall once I got the hang of it. The Pooh Bear stickers I added to the back window to amuse the baby in his rear-facing infant seat really added something I think.

“The” truck we have now is taller, longer and somehow scarier. It doesn’t mean to be, it just has this kind of low rumbling growl that makes me feel I should be sporting something more appropriately “rough and ready” than a T-shirt and yoga pants.

Adjustment

On day one I did what any cautious and careful driver would do. I hopped in the truck and hit the highway, headed for the not-so-open road of a heavily congested urban center because THAT made sense.

The wrong lane in heavy traffic is definitely the time to realize you have failed to adjust the mirrors, learn the blind spots or figure out what exactly most of the buttons and switches do.

At one point I reached for the headlights and, apparently, engaged the tow package? I hope that’s nothing serious because I drove around with that on for three days. (If Mr. Wonderful should ask — that did NOT happen).

Sound of silence

Mr. Wonderful is not a music lover and, as a result, had never bothered to program any of the radio stations. This drove me nuts until I realized I needed total silence to aid keeping my full concentration on muttering and praying for all the innocent bystanders in my midst.

The only music that would be fitting for me behind the wheel of this truck was the soundtrack from Jaws. The ominous “you are about to be killed and eaten” notes would have been perfect for when I pulled up behind smaller vehicles at stoplights.

I sat higher in this truck and that, coupled with the tiny little pudding cup cars people drive nowadays, made me a nervous wreck. What if one of those microscopic vehicles was hiding behind a pebble on the road and I didn’t see it?

Workout

On the plus side I did get a much needed work out. The hand-over-hand maneuver required to hoist my entire heft up into the front seat was surely good for the upper body. The fact that I had to park 40 miles out to secure a parking space I felt I could safely maneuver into didn’t hurt either.

You should have seen me pulling into the shopping center where one driver graciously waved me in to a front row spot ahead of himself (a fear reaction perhaps?) only to have me smile and mouth “no, no, I’ll park a few blocks over, thanks!”

I apologize to all the capable, truck-driving mamas out there because ladies, I made us look bad. As it was by the third day I felt quite at home in the truck. I managed to program all the radio stations properly (and set the clock.) I found the headlights (but never did turn off the tow package).

I stood a little taller, and drove a little surer. I also found that for some reason that I do not fully understand people notice you more when you drive a truck. They are so friendly. They wave.

Oh sure they might actually be waving to say “don’t back over that smart car in your blind spot” but I’d rather believe it’s because I’m so cool.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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