OKAY. OKAY! I know he’s not. He’s 15, exactly the age on his Learner’s Permit. Yes, my skinny chicken-legged child who has vomitted twice on my feet, who had night terrors for years, whose dad used to hold in one hand, football style, can now legally drive a motor vehicle. A multi-ton vehicle on the actual road.
Yes, on the streets you and your family traverse!
(Of course, only if you live in the greater Peoria regional area!)
I drove him to the nearest DMV office, about ten miles away. My husband, Chris, came along, as did Taylor’s friend J. who had “accidentally” missed the bus.
I think he just wanted to play Tay’s X-Box 360.
Anyway, on the drive there I suggested that his time in captivity (i.e. in a vehicle with his parents) should be spent discussing serious issues, his changing body, sexual intercourse and the Scopes Monkey Trial.
He didn’t think that was a good idea. In fact, he threatened to jump out of the moving car. I reminded him that when you die “Everyone Poops.”
Ten minutes later I pulled up to the DMV which (luckily) happens to be next door to a bar/bowling alley. Chris suggest we go have a drink or two while Taylor went into the license facility.
I suggested that first we verify the law. He has to drive with someone twenty-one or older, but is it okay if that person is intoxicated? If so, WOOOHOOOO instant designated driver!
Really, there have to be SOME perks to the expensive teenage boy auto insurance.
He quickly acquired his permit and we headed to the bar.
To bowl, not to drink, of course!
Heady from all of our recent Wii bowling, we stepped up to the lanes and quickly descended into bowler’s remorse. Those balls are WAY heavier than a Wii Remote. My husband was the only one who broke a hundred.
Leaving the bowling alley, I suggested that Taylor should drive. He was hesitant, nervous I think. But we prevailed upon him to give it a try. After adjusting his seat and mirrors he asked “So, do I put my left foot on the one pedal and my right foot on the other?”
Um.. that made my heart flutter with worry. He didn’t know the names of the pedals or what each one did. Chris explained and told him to put the car in reverse.
He didn’t know his foot had to be on the brake to shift!
Crap, I guess much like bowling, driving in real life is much different than in a video game!
Jake, Chris and I all heartily laughed at his lack of knowledge.
No, really we didn’t! Actually, I was beginning to feel slightly (more) terrified, wishing I was at home with a bowl of alphabet soup, helping Reagan with her homework.
Math is much less dangerous than driving; if she forgets the Pythagorean Theorem, well, we can look it up. If Tay forgets which pedal is the brake, we could end up in a ditch. Or dead.
Yes, I’m cheerful like that. No anxiety problems here, no sirree.
Heading down the road, Tay had to turn at a corner, undercorrected and almost hit a minivan. Shit. Then Chris accidentally lead him into an alley rather than a side street, which required some super fancy backing up action. (Boy, that sounds dirty!)
Finally, onto the highway back home. I sat in the backseat, noticing how really narrow the lanes are and how fast everyone drives and how close by passing cars really are.
Just like all cats are gray in the dark, all mothers freak out a bit when their babies reach a new milestone. Similar to learning to walk, learning to drive brings a tremendous amount of independence, and unlike the mommy of a toddler, I can’t hover above the car, waiting to catch him if he crashes.