I know I’m posting a bit for today, but I missed a couple of days with a lot of stuff on my mind. This is mostly because I’ve been irritated by the men in my life, and have been just the tiniest bit gritchy.
You see, Bugs got his license on Wednesday. Tuesday we went out to practice unprotected left turns, and it did not go well. Looking back now, I think most of his issues stem from anxiety, but to me it looked like he didn’t know what he was doing or where he was going.
I’m continually amazed that all these years I’ve been driving them around, and they don’t know how to get to the grocery store five miles down the road. I shouldn’t be though. I don’t have that gene either. If I don’t drive it, I can’t get there later. And I’m about as directionally challenged as any one person can be. Remember my car I lost for four hours? (For your amusement, read here). So, it’s not all that surprising that they can’t find the post office two miles away.
To make matters worse, the bridge that we have to cross to get into town is closed now, and there is a detour–three detours actually–none of them direct which also happens to be the definition of a detour. One of the detours happens by a church that one year got us home in a bad storm during which a giant tree fell across the main road. We have since dubbed this road “The Storm Tree Church Road.” When anyone in our family says that, we know where that person is referring to.
So that is the buzz phrase I used to indicate the route I wanted him to take into town.
Unfortunately, once past the church, he didn’t know anything else, and zoomed passed the next turn (on a road that actually becomes two tire ruts in the middle of nowhere). When I shouted, “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” it of course was my fault.
No surprise, he didn’t see my side that he should have slowed down when I said he missed the turn. Tempers flared, and that set the tone for the rest of the trip, culminating in my announcement that he shouldn’t take the test the next day because if he didn’t know where he was going, he shouldn’t be driving. I wasn’t a fan of his that evening.
Wednesday evening when I went with him to get his license however, he drove perfectly to the testing office and came back happy as a clam that he’d passed.
The next day I added him to the insurance policy and had to be revived when they told me how much it would be.
Now I only have to contend with Roo and Buzzard contributing to my daily dose of tachycardia and a sound dose of worry about Bugs driving by himself. So far though, the handiest thing about letting them drive is the leverage it affords me.
They want it so badly that when I take it away for bad behavior or mouthing off, they straighten right up. I’m thinking it’s going to take a REALLY long time for the twins to get their license.
Driving eh? Wow – mine are just starting to go to the playground – all four (together) with the cell phone – 1/2 a block away for a maximum half hour before checking in. Cannot imagine them driving……….eek!!
It is indescribably frightening. And difficult to impress upon them that it’s not just them, it’s everyone else on the road too! The seem to get tunnel vision and think that you think it’s all about them. Oh well. Lots of prayers, that’s for sure!
I bet it is terrifying. Ever so often I imagine when they are old enough to go out alone at night with friends. Even that terrifies me – I can not imagine them travelling at highway speed in a metal can!! I gues one has to let go eventually and Trust!
i never wanted my kids to grow up. i wanted to keep them young and innocent forever
If only we could… Thanks for stopping by!
What a great idea, grounding them from driving if they don’t do the right thing, I like it. 😀
Yes, and the bar is very high…
Wowwwww, this was like an exact replay of my life three years ago. My oldest, Bryan, did some really, really stupid things when he first started driving, and I was worried he wouldn’t get his licence. It was like he knew the basics but couldn’t look any further than what was right in front of him. He wasn’t aware of things going on around him on the road. I freaked out on him on more than one occasion, telling him that he was going to get someone killed. Three years later, I am quiet impressed by his driving skills – he is a careful and skilled driver. As for the insurance, I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here boys get shafted!! We live in a little tiny town, so without a car Bryan had no way of getting a job, but he couldn’t afford a car and insurance to go and get a job. Catch 22 right? At first we just had him under our insurance as an occasional driver, but recently we got a new car and gave him our old one to try and help him out because he is going away to college and has to pay for that as well as his insurance, which of course is higher now that he is driving the 3rd car in the household. He is still under our insurance, but his yearly amount is ridiculous. Now the worst part is waiting for his phone call to assure me that he reached his destination safely. I don’t think I’m being paranoid do you? I just need to know he got there safely, and he thinks its horrible that I make him call me!!
I make Bugs text me when he arrives. Most of my friends have the same requirement. That way we know. We were just laughing about this too, when one of my friends daughters just turned 18 and asked, “When do you think I can stop texting you upon arrival? I’m 18!” 🙂 The whole insurance thing is ridiculous. We have a third car because my husband bought another car last year knowing we would have drivers–they get his super used car that he had before (its a 2001). The insurance for him is about 2/3 what we pay for the two of us on all three cars. Yikes! We were told if there are three cars, and three drivers, then they have to be “assigned” a car as full time driver. So we just picked the cheapest one to insure. None of it is easy, or cheap.
It must be a mother thing about having them text or phone because when I was giving Bryan crap tonight for forgetting to call me when he got to his girlfriend’s, my husband said I was being ridiculous too!! She lives 40 minutes away from us, so that’s a long drive for a fairly new driver, and I don’t think I’m being unreasonable. It’s even worse because Bryan is epileptic. It is controlled by medication, but I can’t help it – I just worry more about him. Oh well, they never said being a mother was easy. 🙂
I can see why you worry more than usual. It would worry me more as well. Does he carry id that notifies people about his seizures? It isn’t easy being a mother! We inherently worry!
Yes, he wears a watch that indicates that he is epileptic, and he’s very good about wearing it. I just wish they would understand that we worry because we love them so much!! 🙂
I know. That and that it’s not just them on the road but everybody else! There was a teenager killed a couple of years ago here. Good student, on her way to take her AP exams at school. Stopped at a red light leaving their development. It was raining hard, and when the light turned green she went without looking to be sure traffic was stopping and a big semi ran the red light and t-boned her car. So so tragic. I can’t seem to impress upon them that it isn’t only their driving, but others as well. So I nag and talk as much as possible, pointing out ever scenario.
You know, I really have to thank you for this post because I feel a lot better about the worrying and nagging I have been doing. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one. We are mothers – it’s just part of us! 🙂
Yeah, I’m planning to enforce an “18 to drive” rule in our house. At least for the first one…lol. Scary times for a Mom….maybe he will not want to venture too far away since he’s prone to get lost! 🙂
Um, good luck with that! 🙂 Actually, I’ve found that if you find a really good driving school, they won’t pass them if they are not ready. I didn’t know this, and we ended up not utilizing the high school because there was a bigger parent commitment then I could do, and I was still so busy with my father’s estate. So I signed him up with a private company. Come to find out, the school has a tendency to pass students who shouldn’t be passed. Bugs actually took the test twice, but they wanted him to be safe. Fine with me. It’s still scary though, but I feel better when I know that whoever is giving him the test is really looking out for him and everybody else on the road. And even then there are no guarantees.
Great that you found such a good driving school….we don’t have those where I live….just the public school…maybe I should look into offering an alternative??? 🙂
Might be a good idea. No driving schools there? That seems strange…The one I chose was a couple that came from NY, but I knew the wife from the boys Catholic School. Her husband was a retired Police Sergeant, and one of the instructors was also retired police, and came from the Catholic School. They bought it not knowing anything about running a driving school, but the didn’t like what they saw going on so they plunged in. They are really good. The public school offers it as part of health (the drivers ed part),and then you pay extra for the behind the wheel, but they only give you five lessons. The state requires 45 hours logged (10 of those after dark) and a parent has to sign off. However a lot of parents don’t keep track (not sure why, because now there are apps for that) and just don’t want to be bothered by it. The driving school won’t take the kids until they’ve had 25 hours behind the wheel already, and they can tell if they have. I think Buzzard might struggle, from what I’m seeing so far. He seems very distracted, and ADD is not a good combo with driving. Roo, on the other hand has an obsession with beating the bus home. (This contributed to him being docked driving privileges last week with a smart comment regarding my observations to boot). Bugs is my cautious one which is better overall, but also a hazard at times (unprotected left turn is why he failed the first time–he was too cautious and got stuck in the middle of the intersection once the light had turned red). The driving school sent one of my friends daughters home and told them she wasn’t ready to drive. My friend was fine with that, and I would be too. (She 17 BTW). So, not every kids is ready, the hard part is being the parent. They tend to think you are nagging and too picky so it helps to have someone else be the bad guy.
My life changed completely the day our two got their drivers licenses. There isn’t a day when they grab the car keys when they don’t have to hear my list of instructions and warnings….I’m pretty sure it falls on deaf ears!!
LOL! I hear, “I know!!!!” in a very exasperated voice. I just keep saying, “I’m a mom, I’m supposed to worry!”
I despise living in a tiny town that barely makes it on a map, but on the plus side there were a lot of quiet streets for me to drive around on. And I was on the receiving end of the Clean Up Your Act Or Else We’ll Take The Keys Away lecture countless times…
I’d share a I-worried-about-my-kids-when… story, but I don’t have kids and don’t intend to for a long while. hah
Smart girl! I grew up in a relatively small town, although not as small as the one I’m in now. I lived in a couple of big cities for 13 years in between, and said I’d never go back to a small town. But now I kinda like it…