Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Learning curve

I spoke yesterday of my pride in learning to do Pipo's hair. Honestly, since Pipo's arrival, I have been pushed into learning many things quickly. Within weeks of his arriving, I became fairly conversational in Kreyol. Beyond dreadlocks, I got very good at two stranded twists and even made some attempts at cornrows. I could probably teach a class on nephrotic syndrome and FSGS. I am a pro at managing the meds of a chronically ill kid, and could probably teach ESL at this point as well. But by far, my biggest achievement to date is learning to drive in the city. Anyone who has ever driven in Boston before knows it is absolutely insane.

With all Pipo's specialists, I find myself driving into Boston fairly regularly. And because it's more practical, I find myself driving in during rush hour. Actually... that sentence holds no logic does it? I don't think it's possible to use the word practical when talking about driving in Boston at rush hour. But because I have a limited timeframe of getting in and out between dropping off and picking up kids at school, the only time to fit in a drive to Boston has me driving during the height of the morning commute. I will admit, those first few drives, I was near tears, being overwhelmed with 18 wheelers on each side of me pinching me on the Mass pike. But now I hold my own with the best of them, muscling between the pushy cabdrivers downtown, avoiding the jaywalkers that jump in front of you from nowhere, even navigating the lovely Boston catastrophe we like to call the 'Big Dig'. I have learned that the estimated time of our drive in there is anywhere between 1-2.5 hours. There is no rhyme or reason to the traffic. Sometimes I sit on the Mass pike for an hour or so, sometimes I whip right through... no matter if it is the exact same day of the week, at the exact same time. I've learned to appreciate my big beast of a van, as the rules of the road are that the bigger car gets the right of way. I've learned to let go of my politeness, and yell right back at the smaller cars I cut off.

I am quite proud of my new skills. After almost 40 decades of growing up not so far from this big city, I am finally confident to drive in there. For any of you out of towners looking to learn... here is a great link for you. It's all true, I can vouch for it!


BSC said...

You've got my admiration. 20 years ago my soon to be husband and I were heading back up to Canada on the 95 and somehow we ended up in downtown Boston. It was the wierdest thing. We have taken 495 ever since. Until a few years ago, I thought we should try it once again, you know, maybe save time. We lasted just a few exits of bumper to bumper traffic and then we hopped back over to 495. That is just the highway through Boston. I can't imagine driving IN Boston. It just proves, we mama bears will do anything for our kids!

Beth in NS

Laraine said...

Hey Denise, I love reading your blog stories. I noticed your age in the last paragraph -- maybe 4 decades or 40 years -- but not 40 decades. I know it might seem longer because you pack so much in!