Just Another Service

When I first learned how to drive most of my friends were jealous because, as one of the eldest amongst us, I was able to get my permit and then my license first.

“You’re lucky to be free before us” they would tell me. I disagreed.

“Driving isn’t freedom, guys, not in my family.”

Driving in my family is not freedom. It wasn’t when I was a teenager first learning and it still isn’t now that I’m an adult and unable to drive. When we learned to drive it meant that there was another person who could run errands for Mom. It was one more service that you were going to be offering.

My friends at the time didn’t understand, mostly because most of them were either single children or the last child with only one or two older siblings. Only one friend understood even if it didn’t apply to her as the youngest child in her family where everyone was able to drive.

I used to think it was something that those with large families only shared. I mentioned this around my mother, who is the youngest of three and there is a seven year age gap between her and her next closest sibling.

“Mother didn’t drive,” Mom said, “So Dad was really happy when I finally learned how to drive. He used the company car-

(This is actually a thing that does exist, or it did at one point.)

“-so he made me my own copy and I drove the family car on every errand that Mother wanted or needed to go on.”

So it wasn’t just a large family thing after all.

Lazy Teen – Day Sixteen

Had enough time for everything,
Never on the run.
Plenty of time for fun,
More time for myself
Reading books upon my shelf.
No worries or cares,
Don’t really have to share.
Selfish with my time,
Could turn around on the dime.
This was my life at sixteen.

Written for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt (http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-sixteen/) and for today’s Daily Post prompt (https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/only-sixteen/).

Life at sixteen was very different for me compared to my friends. At first there were only five in my house (my mother, older sister, younger sister, younger brother and me) then my second eldest sister, who was pregnant at the time, moved back in with her two small children (toddlers, one could walk…sort of). This was only slightly strange for me because I was used to lots of people in the house (I am six of eight), but I was used to being amongst the youngest group, not the eldest.

I’d never really had a curfew before that and the only reason we had one after was because sound carried in our house. If you came home and were just slightly too loud, you woke the children (and eventually, the baby) which would then wake the whole house. No one was happy about that so it was decided by all that a curfew for everyone would be set and it would be enforced by the fact that if you woke the children up (one or all three) then you had to put them to sleep by yourself. (It was considered fair by everyone.)

Life has never been the same since, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.