Posted by Ami Weaver
I’ve got four kids. And one of them is a teenager with a driver’s license. <shudders>
This happens in many households. And while he turned 16 in June, I’m still holding my breath when he backs out of the driveway for a trip to McDonald’s or his girlfriend’s. (Incidentally, he’s a far better backer-upper than I am. I can’t back INTO my driveway with out running through my garden. Which is why I planted lavender there–at least it smells good while being crushed! But I digress.)
He’s a fine driver. But I want to share a little story with you about beginning drivers.
Last summer, a few weeks post-permit, he’d driven me and a friend to McDonald’s, then they were heading to the friend’s house (known from here on as B). DS took a turn onto B’s street and the large Cokes in the holder thing on my lap dumped over. I squealed and DS inexplicably let got of the steering wheel to lean over and attempt to grab napkins. In the process he hooks the steering wheel with his something-or-other (a knee?) and we take a sharp right over the curb into someone’s side yard. He sits back up and I have NO IDEA what he’s doing but there’s a street sign coming up fast and I’m wondering, if he mows it down, do I have to pay to replace it? If he hits it smack on, maybe I can just stand it back up?
We sail by it with a hair to spare and luckily before the approaching telephone pole became an issue, he got the van back on the road. From B in the backseat: “Holy crap. I think I need a moment.”
DS slammed it into Park, right there in the middle of the (thankfully non-busy) street and we all took a moment. Then he put it back in Drive and we drove the last block or so to B’s house, where we had a quick and dirty little chat about hands on the wheel and all that.
When I drove back past the spot, you could see our tracks in the grass. Really, the whole thing covered fifteen or twenty feet and had only lasted a few seconds. But it sure seemed to take forever in the moment.
He wouldn’t drive for several weeks. Too freaked. But he did get over it and he truly is a good driver. Still, I hold my breath every time he leaves and don’t truly exhale til he’s home. Then I remember: I have three more drivers-to-be after him.
I’d better find out if I have to pay to replace street signs.