Wednesday, April 27, 2011

driving me to drink

I was driving in the car with my son who is learning to drive. Or to be more accurate, I was being held hostage in the passenger seat wishing I'd asked my doctor for some beta-blockers.

My son was weeks away from taking his driver's test.

I was weeks away from marching up the steps to the Governor's mansion to demand he issue an executive order to pray for rain raise the driving age to 18 21.

We're on a busy highway with cars speeding past. Heading north on Mopac just before Enfield exit, for my fellow Austin road travelers. Right there were the lanes narrow and the congestion gets hairy.

So my unlicensed teen driver was behind the wheel, cars whizzing past, violating every single rule I'm trying to impress on my son as important.

He asks me why it's ok for all the other cars on the road to drive so close to the cars in front of them.

My reply: Experienced drivers often break a lot of safety rules, like tailgating too close and changing lanes without using their blinker. Experienced drivers can get away with it. But you're a new driver and as a new dri---

My son's thoughtful rebuttal: I'm not a new driver, MOM!

My reply: (Screeching in the most undignified manner.) Not a new driver? What?  You don't even have your license yet!

Son: (Very calm and mature-like. I'm not sure where he has learned this.) But I'm not a new driver.

Me: And what is your definition of a new driver, then?

Son: Someone who has just learned to drive.

Three questions:

(1) Is anyone shocked that car insurance rates for new drivers are so high?

(2) Is it too late to find religion?

(2) Can someone please tell me we will survive this?

Thank you, Worst Mother, for supplying the perfect illustration.


Mary said...

I might need to use that illustration as a screen saver.

16 is the age limit here. I cannot bear to think about my almost 15 year old starting to learn to drive.

I know I will pay for lessons for him. I think he will probably be a good driver. It's all the other idiots I worry about!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Somehow you survive it. Though I do occasionally have flashbacks to the large black SUV my son once tried to share a lane with.

Mental P Mama said...

You will survive. Just wait til he takes his car to college. Call me. We can talk over our drinks.....

Tammy said...

I'm still in the middle of it with my daughter so like you I'm hoping to survive!

Jodi Pharo said...

I'm two years away from my oldest driving.

I am so afraid.

smalltownme said...

6 months till my younger son gets his permit. Actually, I'm looking forward to it.

hokgardner said...

I am so glad I have 6 years until my daughter gets a license. I may try to convince her that she needs to be 18.

I was terrified of driving and was almost 17 before I got my license.

Lee said...

Maybe he'll accept "rookie driver?"

Anonymous said...

Oh my, that's the worst of it--their EGO about driving. I fear that will happen with my sons, too.

Coffeypot said...

Texas you say? No chance he will be driving in GA? Will you call me first.

Going through the same thing with my grandson. I now have 57 more new hairs in my head.

Anonymous said...

I'm so not looking forward to that mile stone!

Kathleen Scott said...

It is scary, particularly when you think that his brain is in a firestorm of formation, the front conceptual lobes branching and sprouting and connecting like crazy.

There's got to be a video game that teaches driving skills. In the safety of your own living room. And you don't hand over the keys until he scores a thousand-million points

Alternatively, I'll give you my super-potent margarita recipe(for you, not him).

8 said...

Oh, I feel your pain! My son is almost 15 and itching to take drivers ed. 2 weeks ago he was driving the golf cart in our neighborhood and hit a parked car. Drivers licens? I think not! I told him I would let him drive me around when hell freezes over AND pigs fly out of my ass...... sigh.
I also work in the insurance industry and can appreciate not wanting ANY teenager to have a license. It really should be 18. Why oh why do we think it's ok to give a 16 year old child a multi ton piece of machinery and say have fun?

Glennis said...

Where I live, the main road in and out of our community is a two-lane blacktop that climbs from sea level to about 1600 feet in 6 miles. In corkscrews.

Every kid's high school is out of the canyon, so for our kids (and moms) driver training is quite an accomplishment.

The year Our Son was training, we had a spring rain that washed out our main road to the coast, so to go to his school we had a choice of either going 20 miles out of the way on LA's busiest freeway, or taking an even narrower mountain road UP and OVER the mountain.

Being able to sit in the passenger seat with my kid at the wheel hurtling down Tuna Canyon Road was an exercise in trust.

We did fine. You will too.

PS - always expect a minor fender-bender in the first 6 months after he gets his license. Don't freak out.

Glennis said...

Oh and one more thing - pay for lessons. THEN drive with him. Don't start teaching him from scratch.

Susan said...

It certainly is a major rite of passage for every parent. My kids were pretty good at convincing me they were cautious drivers and it was such a relief not to have to drive them everywhere that I chose to believe them

Magpie said...

My child is seven & a half which means that I have ... ACK! Better start stockpiling drugs.