Driver’s training…someone hold me.
So my daughter got her driver’s permit a couple of months ago. Yeah. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of taking your teenager out with their sparkling, brand new driver’s permit, you are in for a treat (total sarcasm here).
Before you start to think that I’m a terrible parent for writing about this, she agreed that this needed to be posted.
We signed her up for driver’s lessons, and after her first lesson with the driving school, it was time for me to take her out. Honestly, I think they should take them out about five times before subjecting parents (and other innocent drivers) to this experience.
She begged me to let her drive to her friend’s house, as we carpool and it was our turn this particular day. I pulled the car out of the garage for her and parked it in the cul-de-sac, pointing straight ahead. I figured this would be the easiest way for her to head right down our street. She eagerly hopped in the car, belted up, checked her mirrors, etc. She released the parking brake, put the car into gear and we started rolling. Right into the neighbors car. Almost. We lurched and thankfully stopped about, oh, 6 inches from their bumper. I believe the passenger floorboard now has permanent dents as I stomped with all my might, hoping to magically find a brake pedal under my foot.
My heart was racing wildly. I wanted to stop the ride and get off, and we hadn’t even left our street yet! Every stop, turn and acceleration was painful. As much as I tried not to, I let the expletives fly (natural reaction, unfortunately). We stopped about 3 feet from stop signs, then proceeded without creeping to the actual stopping point. We swerved (oh how we swerved), lurched, we accelerated and stopped suddenly. We almost sideswiped several parked cars. It was a lot like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I would have given my left pinky finger to get off this terrifying ride.
I was just waiting to get pulled over for drunk driving. I was sure that someone from the line of cars behind us was going to call the cops, after they witnessed our car swerving and performing other moves typically performed by those who have had a few too many cocktails.
I desperately wanted her to pull over, so I could take the wheel, but honestly, I was scared for her to do that! Would we take out an innocent mailbox, or house? Quite possibly. I held on tightly as we finally approached her friends house. I told her to slow down, and as I was trying to explain how to pull over, BLAM. The car’s tire (and rim) met the curb with brute force. It was a horrible scraping sound, and I knew that it was going to leave a mark (on my rim). After making sure the car was in “Park”, and the emergency brake on, I leapt out of the passenger side and I finally let out my breath. I inspected my rims and sure enough, they were toast.
I was furious, but I couldn’t let it show. I’m sure she felt bad enough.
As time passed, her driving improved. I have found myself slightly more relaxed when I am her passenger, though there are still plenty of scary moments with me grasping the door handle. I encourage my husband to take her out whenever possible 🙂
Today was her final lesson with the driving instructor, and she can do her driver’s test at any time. I think she still needs a little more time, but of course she is anxious to just do it. I just don’t want her to be heartbroken if she does not pass on the first try.
Have your kids started to drive? Were your driving lessons anything like mine?