Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Permit

I was afraid of this day for a long time...and then it happened...and it's still happening...Jack got his drivers permit. There are several realizations you have when your first child gets their permit: 1) How did my frog-loving, many bones-a-broken, Red Sox cheering little boy become 16? 2) I am old. 3) How is it possible that a child who can't remember where he left his shoes 5 minutes ago, drive a car? Will he forget he is driving??!! 4) How will I survive this? I have adopted a few survival techniques. I'm not sure they are really helping me but they have come in handy at different times. The first thing I tried was avoidance. I said it would not be good for any of us if we drove together. No one disagreed. That worked for about 2 weeks. After a few driving experiences Tim came home and said that Jack was a really good driver. I became curious and Jack had some confidence. So, I said, "Let's do this". The first experience was a 10 minute drive from home to his summer job. I strapped on my perma-grin and just screamed "Slow Down!" and "Watch out!" silently inside. He is actually a good driver but to be fair his driving experience has been made up of "driving" a golf cart, driving our Jeep on the beach 5 mph, and a few instances of driving off-road with Tim while dodging woodland creatures. Then one day we just say it's okay to drive a 5,000 piece of steel that can go upwards of 100 mph down the street? It's an amazing vote of confidence in even the most skilled of drivers. Turns out you should not drive with your permit wielding child when you aren't in the right frame of mind. If you aren't willing to overlook the rolling stops, forgetting to look both ways when they pull out, and the driving dangerously close to the phone poles on the right side of the road, you shouldn't get in the passenger seat. It never turns out well. That's when you adopt another survival technique...Avoidance period #2. You will undoubtedly endure a question period filled with "Why can't I drive?" You then adopt the silence technique. If you can't hear them it is easier to ignore them. Listen, I can't wait for Jack to be able to run down to the store and buy some eggs when I realize I don't have any in the middle of making a recipe...or to pick up Mimi when I can't get home in time....but I'm just not ready for the beforehand practice. That's when the Closing Your Eyes Technique comes in handy. If you don't see what is happening, and you have an enormous amount of faith, you can survive. That is where I'm at right now. I don't want to make this a negative experience for Jack....he deserves to learn with patience and peace...but I'm not that kind of window rolled down, arm hanging out, kind of gal. Stay tuned...for As The Boy Learns....