Wednesday, October 04, 2006

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane

I have become the mother of a teenager with a Learner's Permit to drive.

It took him eight tries at the test to pass. That did NOT instill a lot of faith in me on his ability behind the wheel of the van. But, behind the wheel of the van he ended up. Driving home from taking the test. That is probably a young man's third or fourth most exciting moment.....I won't discuss the others here, this is a family forum.

He gets in, tells me to do up my seat belt. I do. I am trying not to be nervous....... I want to be "cool" mom who doesn't get all worked up. Not like my own mother who was so nervous driving with me when I was learning, that when I got too close to a car in a parking lot, she smacked my leg, my foot came off the brake and I hit the car. Then she called the police to report the accident.

He does okay......We get home in one piece. He steps on the brakes a little too quickly..... Forgets to shoulder check every time .... Thank goodness we live in such a small town. It was funny, since as we are driving, people I know are waving and pointing......... They know this must be the first time he is driving.

Today, he wants to drive on the highway. Apparently, he wants his mother to die of heart failure as well. He starts out fine. Is hesitant to get up to the speed limit. I tell him he should speed up a bit, as the horse and buggy behind us are preparing to pass. He gets a little braver, get up to speed, but every time we meet a car, I am getting way too good a glimpse of the ditch. I calmly tell him that he does not have to pull over and slow down every time a car meets us. He says he is nervous he is too close to the center line. I tell him I am nervous we are so close to the grass and trees. I teach him how to "keep it between the lines". He is a good student, he listens and applies my advice well. We get to the small city, he even manages to navigate that well.

It is time to drive home. It is now dark. I want so badly to have him say, "Mom, maybe I am not ready to drive on the highway in the dark" No such luck. He now seems to think he is Kyle Petty (I couldn't spell Mario's last name). I don't particularly like driving at night..... My 40yr old eyes do not always work the way I want them to. I didn't want to dash his confidence either, so, I sucked it up. Buckled in the younger children.......Hugged them tight, kissed them and told them I loved them dearly. And off we went. But, before we could hit the highway, I needed a Timmy's Coffee. I tell him...."You will have to drive through the drive-through and do the ordering"........."COOL!! I love this driving thing"....... I guess they have to learn every aspect of driving, right?

We get on the highway..........I remind him of the brights and when and how to dim the headlights. I give him the hint about, "don't look at the oncoming headlights, focus on the white line in the shoulder" I remind him that there are deer and moose around and that it is fall so those poor things are a little restless what with all the men in orange jumpsuits shooting at them. I am nervous as hell, but I am still maintaining "cool mom" status, not getting too aggressive. I feel it is going pretty well. Then he asks me, "Mom, what are you doing?" Um.... just a reflex thing honey......I am trying to push the van back between the lines with my hand on the window frame. He laughs, and asks, "Did you notice it is broken?" Yeah, well, the van is old and things break....."You don't think it was from people riding with you doing the exact same thing?"

If he thinks I am going to buy him a car when he gets an actual license, he is sadly mistaken.

1 comment:

mum2brady said...

Rissy - I am going through a similar phase with my oldest daughter :) She is loving the driving thing. I absolutely cannot wait until she can get her drivers license and help me ferry kiddos around ;) It will be soooo nice! Of course, she is a girl, and being so, has a lot more common sense than those blessed with those y chromosomes :) I enjoyed your post - it put a smile on my face.

Thinking of you!