My Daughter is in the Driver’s Seat!

When I saw the story of the permit driver whose first move was to hit the gas and drive through the front of the DMV building, I assumed the driver was a teen like my permit holder, and it terrified me! It was no less comforting to find that the permit driver was actually 46 years old!

I firmly believe there should be a support group for parents who have to do behind-the-wheel training with their teen. We’re not even talking about insurance yet – just the sitting in the passenger seat, completely at their mercy with no protection other than the occasional deep and audible gasp and grip of the dashboard that tells your teen that if they don’t slow down, they should be fully aware that they may become an orphan.

This is scary stuff, and you have few people with whom to share your anxiety. There are fellow parents out there who could share their experiences with you. There are parents out there who could attend such a support group as proof that teens can learn to drive and that, as a parent, they not only survived the training but survived it unscathed.

Undoubtedly the whole hour of the support group could be summed up in two phrases:
“I thought we were going to die!” and “It’ll be fine.”

I’m confident that either one is just a slight step to the East of the truth. No one’s going to die. At the worst, you might have an accident and see your insurance rates go up before your kid’s even licensed. Still, I seriously doubt that I will get out of this experience without needing a refill on my Xanax!

Of course, someone will inevitably say, “No one ever said it would be easy.” OK, let’s be honest about having children. When the topic of getting pregnant and having a family ever came up, did anyone ever say, “Now, remember that someday that cute little baby will need to drive, and you will need to sit in the passenger seat with absolutely no control.”? No, they didn’t! They encouraged you to have a cute little bundle of joy without full disclosure that it wouldn’t be easy.

But you know what? My little bundle of joy is growing into a fine young woman in spite of my anxiety. And so far Maggie’s been a fine driver. And I have two other things that give me confidence that she will do much better with her driving test than the woman in the story:

  • When she started walking, she fell a lot. Today she’s quite good at walking!
  • I learned how to drive. If I can do it, surely she can.

Long story, short, it’s going to be just fine. Right?

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