My oldest son is 15 and passed the practice portion of his driving test today. He has one of those nifty portrait style plastic licenses that shows folks that need to know he's under 16 still. I drove him to little rock this morning (avoiding the over crowding that is Conway's exam). He was nervous. I was nervous considering I barely remember to print out the proof of insurance, had to go to the revenue office because I couldn't find the registration and stop and get gas before we got on the interstate.
Teaching your child to drive is not for the faint at heart. Seriously if your tickers not what it should be you might want to look into driving lessons for him or her. But while I'm not ready to run marathons (or run up the stairs for that matter) I braved this endeavor.
He made the comment the other day that he thought he would be a much better driver if one of us wasn't sitting right next to him. And I had to agree with him. But I explained it as such.
"Your dad and I have been driving for a long time. And you're pretty comfortable and have confidence that we know what we are doing. We don't have that assurance and confidence with you yet. I'm not saying we never will. I believe you'll be a very good driver. I'm just not there yet. It's like if you were sitting where here and Luke was in the driver's seat. How comfortable would you be that he would hit that 4 way stop or yield to the roundabout (Conway is the city of roundabouts)."
He had to admit not very. So we could each better understand the anxiety coming from the opposite side of the drink and radio console.
And for someone who felt he would drive better without me in the seat next to him. He got a little panicky when he realized I wouldn't be in the van with him while he took the test. There was some mention of a wild and crazy scheme where we pretended he was deaf and I was his interpreter but I was pretty sure that wasn't going to fly and he settled into the fact that he was on his own.
I watched him sit in the van waiting for the officer to tap on his window. I think I was more nervous. I watched him cautiously back out and drive away praying that he landed those stops efficiently and all turns remained in their proper lanes. My heart was trying to find its way out of my chest and there was a distinct moment I thought I might throw up. I had to not watch for him to return. I read the new laws and ordinances posted on the wall. I bounced my foot and in a very short time almost managed to chew a hole through the side of my cheek. But he soon (very soon like under 5 minutes soon) came striding back in with a grin and a thumbs up. Thank you Lord that you calmed his nerves. Thank you for the very nice officer. Thank you that we don't have to try to do this all over again.