So my 15-year-old son passed Driver’s Ed, passed his written exam and now holds his learner’s permit. With that little piece of paper this kid holds the key to my sanity in his wallet! How completely unfair is that?
I was excited for him to get his learner’s permit. I remember the day I got mine; it was the beginning of an exciting new chapter in my life. I do not, however, remember driving so horribly! Then again, I do remember my mom grabbing onto the handles for dear life, pounding on the floorboard, and hollering “BRAKE!” many, many times.
Oh how I pity her now. I remember when I came to a complete stop after nearly running a stop sign, my mother glared at me and said “one day your son will do this to you, and I cannot WAIT!” Oh my, I had no idea how much weight those words held at the time.
It really does not seem all that long ago that I was the one learning. The difference is I was almost two years older than him. That did not mean I was any better, but I like to believe those extra two years count for something.
I learned how to drive on a manual. My car was a 5-speed and that was my only option. Driving my mother’s new car was not even considered – ever. So, now my kid wants to learn how to drive a manual. Oh, yeah right. He can’t even tell if he is in the middle of the lane and can barely pay attention when he turns, and he thinks I am going to let him learn how to drive on a 5-speed? Oh, I just cannot help but laugh!
He is very attentive, I will give him that, but I am super critical of his moves. I wish I could relax, but having my own anxiety issues I just can’t. He likes to take turns while still pushing the gas, rides through the parking lot with his foot on the gas instead of the brake, takes turns way too wide, and waits until the last possible moment to hit the brake when stopping, which gives me a heart attack! There is so much more, the list goes on and on.
After a very brief 15 minutes of allowing him to drive to the store, I have decided I will no longer be the teacher. My husband has nerves of steel when he needs to so he is the one who will have to take on this task. After today, I am not sure I will ever hand that boy his actual license, or even let him behind the wheel alone!
I guess that is why our state requires them to hold their permit for a year, and have 60 hours of recorded driving time before issuing their license. See, that doesn’t even matter to me right now. I don’t know how long it will take me to recover from today and that was just in town with 25-35 mph driving!
The anxiety and panic still sits with me; I am a mess.
Knowing I have to go through this three more times makes me feel sick. From now on, my husband gets to be the driving instructor and I will be nowhere near the vehicle my 15-year-old is driving in!
Also, after seeing how aggressive other drivers are I think it’s time to find a “student driver” magnet the size of the car and slap that baby on there, because the tailgating from idiots was really making him paranoid!
This is just crazy. Can’t I just skip this step of parenting and move on to the next? Oh wait, the next involves a car, a job, and freedom. Nope, I’ll sit tight here for as long as I can before I really have to let him grow up.
Teen driver photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 20 Jul 2012