When Your Kid Gets His Driver’s License

My son passed his driver's test and got his driver's license yesterday.

That's right his license to drive a car!

Now, you know I don't write about my kids on the Internet.  This is absolutely not a "mommy" blog.

But this situation?

This is really all about me!

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I left my husband in charge of the past few months of practice driving with my son.  It was his "job" to take my son out to get behind-the-wheel experience.

I did this because I'm not an idiot of my car accident.

And no, it had nothing to do with logic.

My disabling  life changing  car accident was caused by a man running through a four way stop.

I know, logically, it had nothing to do with an inexperienced driver.

There's not enough therapy in the world, however, to get me in the car with someone who doesn't know how to drive.

My kids have all understood,

It isn't that I don't have faith in them –

I just have some very deep emotional/psychological scars.

Anyway, I was in the grocery store yesterday when I got a call from my husband.

"Did he flunk?" I asked as I answered my phone.

"No," laughed my husband.  "He's driving us home right now – he passed!"

"That's great!" I said with genuine enthusiasm.

Then I hung up and freaked the hell out.

My baby!

My baby is now licensed to get behind the wheel of a weapon of mass destruction a car and DRIVE!

Not long after, I was giving my son a congratulatory hug.

Then?

Then my son smiled at me, grabbed the keys to the car, and announced he was going to a girl's house "to celebrate the last day of summer."  (School began here today.)

"But wait …!" I said.

First, I reminded him not to even "glance" in the direction of his phone while driving.

Then I proceeded to ask him if he knew what to do if he was pulled over by the police.

Then I asked if he knew what to do if he got in a "fender bender."

Then I asked if he knew how to get to his friend's house.

Then I asked if ….

Well, you get the idea.

I was still talking as we he walked out to the car.

He opened the car door, looked up at me puzzled, and asked, "Now, which pedal is the brake again?"

I gasped!

He laughed …

And laughed, and laughed!

(Aren't teen boys funny?)

I walked back into the house.

I hyperventilated for a few minutes.

I looked at my watch, then I looked at it again.

My son was under instructions to text me once he arrived at his friend's house so I would know he was safe.

Yes, I am THAT mom.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

I had planned to head to the beach for some photography time, but I couldn't leave the house until I knew he had arrived safely.  (I know this makes no sense, but …!)

Forty minutes went by.  It shouldn't have taken more than twenty five minutes for him to drive to his friend's house.

Finally, I texted him and asked, "Are you there yet?"

His reply?

"Just got here.  I parked successfully and I did not die."

(Aren't teen boys funny?)

I exhaled, and realized I'd been holding my breath for a good forty minutes.

Also?

I know "Just got here," is teen-speak for, "Whoops, I forgot to text you."

I think I need sedatives to get me through the next couple years.

My nerves are frayed, and he hasn't even had his license for 24 hours yet.

© Twenty Four At Heart

11 Responses to “When Your Kid Gets His Driver’s License”

  1. karen

    oooh, do I KNOW your WOE!!!… I can’t stand the thought of it!!.. My daughter, who is now 21, was in a horrible one car accident after having her license for just three months five years ago. To say it was a life altering experience is putting it mildly… coma, rehab.. etc. etc.
    Now my 15 year old son is chomping at the bit for HIS license…and I hyperventilate already!!…

  2. Pam Thakrar

    Motherhood! My daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter (6 months) were visiting CT from the UK in June and I didn’t sleep for two weeks hoping that my son-in-law remembered which side of the road he should be driving on, if he knew what a four way stop sign was……
    Being a mother means you never stop worrying no matter what age your kids are.

  3. Jenny in MN now in AZ

    I’m dreading this day in my son’s life. He will be getting his driver’s permit a year from now. I get anxious thinking about the day he will drive off on his own. It is about the mommy! Hang in there.

  4. Jan

    I’ve been putting off letting The Young One get his license, but I fear I can’t much longer. I, too, will let the spouse handle the behind-the-wheel experience, because it can be distracting while your mother is clutching the dashboard and weeping in terror – just ask my daughter.

  5. Missy

    These comments bring back lots of memories. I on the other hand was the parent who taught both my kids to drive a stick shift! My husband didn’t have the patience. Lot’s of tears and many frustrating lessons on hills they both learned an essential driving skill – the stick shift.

  6. Boomgono

    The scariest part for me is knowing that, however well-trained our kids are, there are other people out there—people like the man who ran that stop and hit you. I have to keep reminding myself that millions of people (myself included) drive out in traffic every day, without a mishap or a scratch. We have to let our kids grow up.
    Missy’s comment brings up something I’ve wondered about, though: Some people don’t teach their kids stick shift at all these days. Today, it’s easy to get around (and even rent and drive a moving truck!) just knowing how to drive automatic. It’s certainly easier to teach a teenager all of the safety rules, steering, and parallel parking without worrying about the clutch and the gears.
    What do you think? Is driving stick a vital skill, an extra, or completely obsolete?

  7. Anne Gibert

    Oh, I have been there, done that etc. But they get older, get experience, and then they tell you how to drive.

  8. Kimberly

    My son gets his license at the end of November. I am a wreck. I’m not sure why it is so hard for me this time around, I already have a 25 & 22 year old that have been driving just fine for years. This parenting stuff is HARD!

  9. Alexis (Minnesota)

    Well, congratulations. Isn’t it funny how we spend the first years teaching them to stand on their own, walk on their own….drive…and they DO. Little shits.
    The worrying never stops. It just changes. It morphs. Just don’t let the worrying consume you.
    AND, both my girls know how to drive a manual transmission AND they know how to change their own tires because I didn’t want ’em stuck on the shoulder of some road with a stupid flat when they actually have the ability to do that.
    Good luck to the young one. Please tell him to leave early, take his time and also remind him to not drive when he’s angry or in another high emotional state. We spend SO much energy telling new drivers not to drink, not to text….we forget to remind them of the simple stuff too…

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