D is for Driving



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It’s a rite of passage for most teenagers – getting behind the wheel of the family car. Similarly, it’s a rite of passage for parents to white knuckle a few rounds in the passenger seat.

The day after our elder daughter turned 16, we were in the ministry of transportation office getting her beginner permit. She wanted to go on her birthday but alas, I had to work and she had to wait. (Insert eye rolling here.)

Katie had it in her head that she wanted to drive out of that parking lot, so we had been practising already in big box parking lots and the nearby cemetery, which is, BTW, a GREAT place to practise. There are long stretches of road, a few soft turns and you have to maintain a slow speed. And you can’t hurt anyone because they’re already dead, I reasoned with her. (Insert “mo-oo-m!” here. What.)

But it was raining, so I took over the wheel and dashed her dreams yet again.

In fact she’s not a bad driver (though there is one concrete pillar in the mall parking lot that begs to differ). And I get why she wants her licence. “Think of how you won’t have to drive me around everywhere,” she says. Oh yes, that will be nice. More than that, it’s that sense of independence, of growing up. Remember what that felt like?

Just like when it came to swimming and piano lessons, we’ve hired someone else to teach our child. The nerves run too high when it comes to steering a minivan through traffic. (“You’re crowding that lane!”)

Paying for driver’s ed? I guess that’s another rite of passage.

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