I have a T-Shirt that says something like “I’m a father, a grandfather and a veteran. Nothing scares me.” Well, there is one thing that scares me: Being a driving instructor for two people, but not at the same time.
If you’ve read my retirement story or about my bucket list (or both), you can agree that I’ve already had a full life. I’m satisfied with what I’ve accomplished. I don’t need to accomplish more.
My wife, Josie, and I were married more than 35 years ago. We’ve raised two sons, Joe and Jon, and they’re both married and raising their own families. One person in each family is gainfully employed. With children who aren’t in their teens yet, it’s difficult for both parents to work at the same time.
When I’m around my older grandchildren, I end up being more than just a grandfather (they call me “lolo”, a Filipino word that means almost the same thing). I’ve been a babysitter, a reading teacher and a playmate so far. I don’t know where I’ll be when my youngest grandson is old enough to go to school. Who knows what the future will bring?
I shouldn’t have any father duties anymore, but I have them nonetheless.
I shouldn’t be a position where I have to teach anyone to drive. Someone else taught Josie how to drive and I don’t know who taught Joe how to drive. I think his grandfather, Joshua (Josie’s father), taught him. He lived with us until he passed away.
Unfortunately, I’ve been tasked with teaching Jon and his wife, Cathy, how to drive well enough to pass their road tests. Jon should have learned to drive years ago, but he spent his first adult years living with us in the Philippines, where getting a license wouldn’t have made a difference in the United States. On the flip side, getting a driver’s license in the Philippines doesn’t even require a written test if you have an American driver’s license.
Cathy was taking lessons in the Philippines before she came to the United States. It wasn’t enough. Because neither one of them has a license yet, I end up driving everywhere on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. When we went swimming at the lagoons, I drove. When Cathy had all her prenatal doctor visits, I drove. Although Josie can drive, she won’t. Not here. She doesn’t like the narrow and curving roads.
I’m tired of driving. If I never have to drive again, it will be too soon. Both Jon and Cathy have road test appointments next month, October 2020. If only one of them passes, my duties as a driving instructor and chauffeur will be over.