April 20, 2010
And my son drives...
Well, I've entered the next phase of parenting - the driver's permit. I actually took Taege to get his permit last summer when he turned 14. He passed the test on his first try, no studying involved - the little turd! I took him out to a LARGE parking lot the first time and he did pretty well. Several months passed - 9 to be exact - in which he never asked to practice.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way out the door to drop Taege off at his friend's house and he casually asked, "Mom, can I drive?" I smirked at him and started to say "no," but then I realized that there was going to be some point in my life that I would be forced to get in the car with my son at the wheel. And it might as well be today. So I said, "Sure" and tossed him the keys. He stared at me like I had just sprouted wings. He was still staring at me as I got in the passenger's seat, but he jumped in, pushed the seat up to the windshield, put on his seatbelt, then asked, "Which pedal is the gas and which makes it stop." "Oh, sweet Jesus, will we live through this?" I thought.
He was nervous...not as nervous as I was, but still nervous. He hugged the curb as if his life depended on it. And let me tell you, that boy could stop on a dime - literally. When the guy behind us honked at the stop sign, Taege jumped - "What was that?" "Just a very impatient person, honey," I told him. Geeze, I sounded like my grandmother. We arrived at his friend's street. "Slow down and turn left," I said. "Up or down?" He meant the blinker. As we pulled into the driveway, he slammed on the brakes. Whiplash. When he got out of the car, I realized I hadn't been breathing the entire ride. My heart stopped beating so quickly and I smiled as I saw him jump in the air and yell, "Yeeesss!" That was worth it.
This afternoon, I let him drive home from the Village and he did much better, except for hugging the curb again. But he's getting there. And he'll be taking driver's ed this summer, which is a good thing because I don't think I could take him on a major road or highway yet. I'm in no way prepared for that nightmare. It's a frightening thing to put your child behind the wheel of such a monstrous machine. Okay, I know I exaggerate, but do you understand where I'm coming from?