Yes, the good pedestrians of our little corner of Missouri now have one more reason to dive frantically into the gutters besides spotting loose change. The Boy took his written exam this afternoon (for the third time) and passed! I let him drive home. I was very pale by the time we arrived. And he is now the proud owner of as hideous a Driver’s License Photo as I ever did see, complete with mussed up hair and stoned-out expression. I’m going to put it in his baby book when it expires.
I think back to the way I drove when I was a teenager and my heart starts palpitating. At least we’ve got a full year to practice before he’ll be allowed to drive without a parent or grandparent in the car; I got my full driving privileges all at once when I was 16 and learned largely through trial and error. Lots and lots of error. Oh, yes. Error galore. You’d be amazed how fast a 74 Dodge Dart will go on a gravel road. It’s even more amazing how many times it will spin in a complete circle after you slam on the brakes.
The nice man at the license office gave me a bright yellow “Permit Driver” sign to put in the car window when The Boy is driving, so hapless bystanders will have a chance to run away screaming. This amused The Boy. On the way home he kept saying, “Scared yet, Mom?” as squirrels ran on ahead and warned their friends. I’m kidding. He didn’t really do that badly. No fatalities yet, anyway.
Part of me realizes that this is a part of growing up, and millions of teenagers and their parents go through this everyday, and he’ll be fine just like I was fine and my sister was fine and our parents were fine. But then another part of me screams, “Are you insane?? You get nervous watching him chop vegetables and you’re going to put him in control of 1000 pounds of speeding steel and glass??” And there go those pesky palpitations again.
At what poing, I wonder, did I become old enough to be the mother of a driving teenager?
You are not making the rapidly approaching doomsday date of February 8th look any more appealing to me.
Maybe we’ll get lucky and all those experts saying we’re running out of oil will turn out to be right. That would be good, huh?
Does he have Drivers Ed. in school, where they practise driving in one of those cars with a second brake pedal on the front passenger side? Or more importantly, somebody else to teach him?
My 16 year old son flunked the written test once and decided he doesn’t want to learn how to drive. He says he’s afraid of getting into an accident, and with the roads and drivers around here I’m not surprised. I’m going to wait a few years before I ask him if he wants to try it again. (I’ve got to stop calling him chicken and making clucking noises, but it’s fun to tease him.)
I’ll be thinking good thoughts and crossings my fingers for both of you.
First Born Male Child’s birthday. He’s been pointing it out for the past, oh, 3 months. Daily. He has big plans, FBMC does. They include a mini-cooper and never ever giving his sister a ride. Both of these fantasies were shattered, sadly.
They offer Drivers Ed in summer school. Oh yes, he’ll be taking it; no one should miss a chance to watch the famous Always Stop At Railroad Crossings movie in glorious Technicolor. I’ve been trying to convince my husband to give him some lessons, but he just sticks his fingers in his ears and goes “Lalalalalalalala” until I go away.
I am intrigued by your ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
Now if the prospect of a 16 years old isn’t enough to turn a marli tharn, I don’t know what is!
Marlitharn, I’d love to be able to tell you they grow up and slow down. Unfortunately, I’ve got a little brother and a gentleman friend who’d prove me wrong. They’re both over 35. I know you know too much about what you’re doing for my advice on raising teenagers to be relevant, so all I’ll do is reassure you it probably won’t be as bad as your worst fears. Kids do have a surprising streak of commonsense, even if it doesn’t show much.
Bwahahahahaha! I haven’t got the foggiest idea what I’m doing with this child most of the time. He hasn’t robbed any liquor stores yet, so I guess I’m doing okay, but he’s like a little alien lifeform in baggy pants who sometimes emerges from his room to eat everything in my refrigerator and beg for money.
Well, at least you know he’s a normal adolescent boy. My best friend’s son just got his permit. He’s sixteen. Yup. Didn’t want it when he was 15. I was afeered that somethin’ wasn’t quite right with the boy but he went and did it finally. He just said he wasn’t in a big hurry. Heck, his parents have been letting him drive around the roads on their farm since he was thirteen. He finally decided he wanted to be able to drive on surface roads, so he got the permit and is taking driver’s ed this summer. Kid’s way to level headed to be a sixteen year old boy. I think he’s been invaded by body snatchers.
My youngest niece will turn 15 in May. She’s marking the days off on a calendar she put up in my sister’s kitchen. Sis calls it the countdown to doomsday. She’s also going to take driver’s ed during the summer. I think it’s great that it’s offered during the summer. I had to take it during the regular school term waaaaaay back when. I wonder if they’ve updated “Always Stop At Railroad Crossings” to the 80’s yet. The one I saw in 1970 was made circa 1938 as best I could figure out.
I’m a Survivor of a Teen Driver (so far). It does get better. A little. The worst part was the day she got the Real License, the one that claims they can drive by themselves without their mother’s intricate Signal System of Gasps to identify potential dangers ahead. Watching her take my car down the driveway and out onto The Road alone was excrutiating. I allowed her to go a half mile up to the center of town to the store and back. I gave her my cell phone, my prayers and what was left of my mind. She made it. Now, after nearly a year, she has her own car, and while I don’t spend the entire time she’s gone pacing frantically, it’s always in the back of my mind. “She’s out. On the road. In a car. Driving. I still cut her steak for her. What the hell is she doing driving?”
Kidwho’dbetterlistentomomorhewon’tbedrivingANYTHING2U got his permit a week ago today. He’s so far only asked me 8, 324 times when we’re going to go “practice”. I was prepared - I have 9,000 excuses all ready to go - I still have 676 left, and Mr2U is working on a new batch.