Sunday, September 13, 2009
On Labor Day, my son turned 16. The next day, we traveled to the DMV so he could take his driving permit test. I honestly didn't start to hyperventilate until he asked about his first driving lesson when we got back to the car.
For me, 16 was the magic number. My mom didn't drive so I had to depend on rides from other friends' moms to get to and from meetings and activities. An active teen, I think I began my own "countdown until I can get my license" the day I turned 14.
My dad tried to teach me to drive, but frustration soon set in on his end and tears on mine, so he sent me to Brown's Auto School for driving lessons. Mr. Brown was cool. He taught me to look "up and out" when driving down the road and to always look for the kid on the bike when pulling away from a curb or making a turn, which I still do today. He didn't yell as much as my dad did, either, but of course he also had a brake and steering wheel on his side of the car to keep me from ending up in the bushes.
Well, my car doesn't have any extra peddles, so the idea of teaching my son to drive was kinda scary - mostly because I've seen him drive the shopping cart through the grocery store. I worried about him being impulsive and reckless. Save for taking the very first turn out of the driveway a bit too fast and almost mowing down the neighbor's mailbox, he was the exact opposite: cautious and careful. Once he got the feel of the gas and brake, he did pretty well on the turns and will only get better as time goes by and he gets to practice it more.
But don't worry, I'll still call all of you to let you know when he's on the road as a courtesy. I'm sure you'd do the same for me!