As the More is More Mom®, I am all about……more student drivers! I’m sorry, but teaching your child how to drive is the single, most terrifying experience of parenthood. Bar none. And now, Amanda has started Drivers Ed…..
Nick’s done a pretty good job, though he has had two tickets in two years (both incurred within the same 6 ½ month time frame, however). One for speeding (guilty, dead to rights) and the other for an “improper lane change” (a totally trumped up charge. I think he was stopped because he looks like he’s only 12….. a blessing and a curse.). Unfortunately, these things happen to the best of us. When I was 16, I got my first ticket; no left turn, 4-6 p.m., weekdays. That was in the good old days (for me!) when you didn’t have to tell your parents everything. My friend Kathleen accompanied me on my day in court, where we waited for the only judge we knew; Judge Wopner (at 4:30). I was a moron. It’s a miracle I lived to tell the tale. Thankfully, I’m fairly comfortable with Nick driving away now, but, like his mother, he plays the music way too loud. In the beginning, I wouldn’t let him listen to music at all. The sound of my heart rapidly beating out of my chest was loud enough.
One night, when Nick first got his permit, I let him go through the Portillo’s drive-thru and nearly had a heart attack. After we paid, they asked if we could please pull over to the side to wait for the rest of our order. Ha! The drive-thru sits alongside a ravine and if they thought I was going to allow him to pull over and back up in our enormous Yukon XL, then they were crazy. I said, “No, I’m sorry we can’t. Student driver.” We just sat there, holding up traffic, but it completely beat the alternative, which clearly was driving off into the ravine, potentially needing the assistance of the Jaws of Life to escape with our lives.
There were so many scary moments, like driving down a narrow, two lane street in our Yukon. Seriously, this car is like a small airplane, with plenty of room to move about the cabin. Even the side mirrors are huge. It would always feel like we were dangerously close to either the side of the road…or oncoming traffic. I would chant, “Watch the curb. Watch the curb. WATCH THE CURB!” To which Nick would reply, “I know.” Just so you know, you don’t know, but what you should know is that I think this is giving me a brain aneurism.
The day Nicky got his license, the kids made me drive home from the DMV in the back seat; a very strange and surreal perspective. As soon as we pulled into our driveway, these rascals ejected me from the car, practically ala The Jetson’s, and drove off to have breakfast by themselves. It felt kind of lonely. While they were out, the ran into my friend Linda (not like a Pinky Tuscadero/Malachi Brothers Demolition Derby kind of run in, but a catch up with a friend while you’re out) and she said that they were very sweet and wearing seatbelts. Of course Nick came right home and took Wrigley for a spin so Wrigley would no that Nick, too, was now a bye, bye maker.
It’s impossible to believe that my Amanda is ready to learn how to drive. It was only yesterday that she was learning how to rollerblade, ride a bike and write her name in cursive. My daily duties are becoming obsolete, and I am really going to miss the time we spend together in the car. Fortunately, Amanda won’t be 15 and getting her permit for a few more months, not to mention the fact that it will take forever for her to accumulate 50 driving hours. Until then, I will enjoy more yelling about the curb, more use of the imaginary break, more holding onto the arm rest for dear life and more appreciating being in the moment….