Teen Boy just got his Learner’s Permit. How did this happen? Just yesterday he was zooming around in his Little Tyke’s car, and today he wants to drive MY car.
Needless to say, I am once again, terrified. He has taken Hunter’s Safety, Snowmobile Safety, and is about to become an Eagle Scout. He is a safe hunter, drives a snowmobile safely, and is prepared. I, however, am not prepared. I feel like I’ve let him loose on a shooting range, armed with a water pistol and everyone else is packing. It is probably my naïveté, and my friends with driving teens reassure me that it is, but I trust him to be safe. I am not worried about his driving skills. I believe he’ll take this seriously, and be safe. We’ve told him his whole life that driving is not a right, it’s a privilege. He knows that driving a car is holding a loaded, cocked deadly weapon in his hands and the safety is off. All of this makes me think that he is ready, and will be a cautious, conscientious driver.
It is all of the other morons on the road that think they can drive, but can’t that scare me. You know the ones I’m talking about. The tailgaters, those that don’t signal and cut you off, or don’t signal and turn right in front of you when you’re going straight. The ones that can’t figure out a four-way stop to save their lives unless there are stoplights involved. The speeders, the 100 year old grandmas that can’t see over their steering wheel and even if they could their cataracts make their windshield a veritable pot of pea soup hence causing them to weave in and out of traffic at unpredictable speeds.
I have been in a couple of minor fender benders, none my fault (really), and one major accident that was caused by a foot-plus of new snow that hadn’t been plowed off of the ice it was on top of when I found it. I was also in the car one winter on the way to visit my parents for Christmas with our two very small children when a slew of cars ahead of us started to spin out of control. My husband, a country boy God bless his heart, quickly assessed the situation, and “whooped it in the ditch” as he would say, and brought us safely up on the shoulder of the other side of the highway all while keeping us out of the fracas. One SUV flipped and landed on it’s wheels, and several cars were piled up. I’m supposed to let my precious newborn son into all of this? Are you insane?? But, I must. He will need to be an independent adult some day, able to drive himself to work, and his children to come and see Grandma. The only way to be able to do that is to get out there and learn now. Nuts.
My husband will be taking him to the school parking lot this weekend in his car (I love my van too much to subject it to a teenage driver’s first time). I can’t ride with him. Not yet. I will panic at every little thing that, when I’m driving, doesn’t phase me one bit. That in turn, will panic him, and make him unsafe. I know this. I have told him all of this. It isn’t him, I’m worried about, it’s all the other morons, and Mom is a panicker sometimes, so you really don’t want me in the car at first, Teen Boy. You want Dad. Good old, strong as a pillar, calm as a cool pond on a June day, not crazy like your Mom.
I love you, trust you, and have faith in you. It’s everyone else I worry about. Enjoy this new stage of your life.
Just watch out for the morons.