Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Driving with Dad

So we're zooming along on Redwood Road headed to 9000 South to my dad's doctor appointment.
He's adjusting his seat belt when he looks over at me and says, "There should be a sign that says Redwood Road. We need to be on that."
I looked at him. I pointed to the intersection we were approaching.
"I know that, dad. We're going the right way."
"Then you'll want to go over to Bangerter and up to 3000 South after that," he said.
I showed him my little card where I had printed up the instructions off Mapquest.
"Yes, I know, dad. I have the directions right here."
He was quiet for a minute then he started up again.
This is my 90-year-old father who hasn't been driving since the DMV decided he was dangerous behind the wheel.
"Turn left on 3000 South," he instructed.
"Dad," I patiently replied. "The directions tell me to turn left onto 3500 South and that's what I'm going to do."
"I've come this way a lot," he said, somewhat indignant. "You need to get on 3000 South."
I ignored him and turned onto 3500 South which has been refigured so it goes around in a kind of a bend onto 3300 South.
"What are you going to do now?" my father asked.
"I'll turn right onto 5600 West," I said.
"You mean 6600 West," he said.
"No, 5600 West," I repeated.
"I'm positive it's 6600 West," he said again.
"But, dad, the clinic is on 2750 S 5600 West...."
He pulled out a card with his doctor's name and address on it. He showed it to me. It said 2750 W. 5600 West.
He was silent for a time but after our appointment he began again with the back-seat driving. I wanted to stop at IHop but it was on the other side of the street.
"You can't get there," my dad said.
I drove by, turned into the parking lot and doubled back to IHop.
Afterward, we were again heading down Bangerter when I noticed sirens and flashing lights on the right so I pulled over to the side of the road.
Dad heard the sirens and sat up.
"What's going on?" he said, "Are you getting a ticket?"
This is the same man who thanked me for the ride when I got him back to the retirement center and told me I'm a really good driver.
"I feel safe with you," he said.

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