my father had some very strict rules when it came to earnin' your drivin' privilege. we had to learn to drive a standard transmission and did so by spendin' a couple o' hours in the ol' chevy without any air conditionin' in the dusty vacant lot between hatton elementary school and the presbyterian church. we also had to have the ability to change a flat tire by ourself and, after sittin' for what seemed like a hunderd hours in front of the lil chalkboard we used to play school with while he chalked out all sorts o' foreign lookin' diagrams, we had to know exactly how a car worked so we'd know what to do if it didn't.

even after i passed my father's stringent driver's education, i failed the first three attempts to obtain the much desired license. i aced the written portion o' the testin' - it was the actual drivin' part that i had the triple trouble with. the first effort was so pathetic that before departin' the parkin' lot, the poor policeman panicked and told me to pull over promptly. i was told not to appear again until i was properly prepared.

queenie was assigned to give me another sweaty session in the vacant lot and though she allowed me only 15 minutes cause she had twirlin' practice that afternoon and didn't want to have the naugahyde pattern from the seats fried into the back o' her thighs, i optimistically set up a new session o' testin.

i can't blame my second failed attempt on her tryin' to save her lovely legs though....that time was completely my father's fault cause he had told me so many times not to take my eyes off the road that i never did - i stared straight ahead the whole time - i never took my eyes off the road - even when the policeman told me to change lanes or to back up. this time the officer by my side said little but did seem close to slappin' me when we finally returned to the DMV parkin' lot.

on the third try i performed perfectly until the policeman proposed i demonstrate a bit o' parallel parkin'. i had never participated in any sorta parkin' - at least not in the front seat or in daylight - and i pleaded with the policeman for pity points. but once again i departed the appointment without earnin' enough points for the drivin' privilege.

the fourth foray into fightin' for the right to navigate four wheels on my own was a complete success only because my lifelong friend bruce smith figured my bad fortune was due to the rule that i take the test in a stick shift and convinced my father to let me give it a try in his own automatic instead. i was finally an official licensed driver. only problem was, though i didn't realize it and no one else seemed to care, i really had no idea how to drive.

over the oh so many years that have followed, i have become a competent cautious driver but i am sure i used up a bundle o' the lifetime o' luck we're doled out at birth survivin' those first few years o' travelin' the highways and byways o' east texas and probably forced anyone who traveled alongside me or past me to use up much o' theirs too.

the time i have dreaded since givin' birth to mini is now loomin' - her desirin' drivin' privileges of her own. i find myself feelin' sick at even the thought o' her drivin' down our long driveway and takin' to the road on wheels...without a helmet or knee pads or even wrists guards. i've been brainwashin' her from the time she was born into thinkin' it would be much nicer to be driven than to drive but now that her age is in the double digits her mind is no longer easily molded.

i have poked around the blogdom hopin' to find some other mothers who may have discovered some sort o' technique to overcome the fear o' handin' over the car keys to the children they have loved and protected since beginnin' life a mere sixteen years ago...even one mother who can tell me how to continue to breathe when a child is out and about - commandin' a large movin' vehicle among other large movin' vehicles - and a siren can be heard off in the far i have found nothin'. i can't possibly be the only mother who wants to run from the room screamin' every time the subject of a learner's permit comes up...can i?

if any o' you can help me with this drivin' dilemma i'd be ever so grateful and promise to return the favor if ever i have helpful motherin' advice your'e in need of.


Anonymous said...

Oh my dear Mo... first off i have to tell you that I too had to take my drivers test over. The first time in my 1962 Starfire Oldsmobile (automatic) that overheated when doing my 3 point turn. I knew I failed even before I started as the instructor thought I cut the line as the person in front of my car had moved up, and the person behind me did not and he thought I "zipped in and cut"... well I was devastated. Dad had refused to give me lessons as he had given a girl lessons when he was in the Navy and she busted the gear knob off of his car, but when I came home crying, he ended up with a soft spot and took me driving. The second time I thought about Marsha from the "Brady Bunch" picturing the instructor in his boxers, and I managed to do just fine and passed. A few years later I bought a brand new car that had a stick shift, and I had to have my brother drive it home as I didn't know how to drive it. He ended up giving me lessons in a church parking lot, and I was surprised to see I didn't give him whip lash. Love hearing your stories of driving tests, and your apprehension of Ms. Mini becoming of age. I am sure she will be fine. Make sure you tell her no using of the cell phone, and not to be fussing with her Ipod or CD's while driving. She will be a responsible driver. Always tell her to be careful. Not that you are worried about her, but the others on the road, and always wait an extra second if you are the first car at a red light stop. Just as she did when she first rode a bike, she will be fine. She will also make you proud, and one day when she is driving you somewhere, you will just smile knowing she is a wonderful driver and will be just fine. XO Christa

Maija said...


Anonymous said...

Hello Mo

My own DD are too young to drive but the mere thought makes me sink to the floor all delicate like.

As for Xanax, that is exactly what my male obgyn offered to provide my husband when our girls start to date.


Anonymous said...

...once again dear...just breathe and believe...and stock up on some good books and lots of crafty things to keep you busy because once she is out there on her own you won't be doing a whole lot of sleepin if you are anything like me...hubs was always able to go to bed and fall straight to sleep but my eyes never closed and my mind refused to shut down till I heard those keys hit the table as they came through the door...he always said there was no need for him to worry cause I was standin watch 24/7. xoxo's JudyG

Babsarella said...

Hi Mo! Just found your blog. I am going thru that same thing. Miss B (my daughter) just got her license a couple weeks ago and I take a deep breath each time she leaves the house. Thankfully with cell phones, we can now easily receive a call when she arrives at her destination or is ready to leave to come home. At the moment, I don't let her drive alone anyplace too far (cuz she still does not have her streets down) or in bad weather (we have been getting some massive downpours). Good are not alone.

Trish Richhart said...

Driving! Ugh! My eldest has procured her learner's permit, passed driver's ed with flying colors, but the thought of her on the road on her own still gives me chills.

Several friends who have already walked this road with their own have told me that it is such a wonderful thing once their children could drive and did not need to be taken everywhere. I am still unconvinced.

I suppose when the day comes that she gets that license, I will be prayin' a lot! It doesn't help my worries that I was in an accident and destroyed my parent's car within a week of getting my own license. Yup! I'll be prayin' a lot!