Yesterday W earned his driver’s license. Congratulations, W. He has been looking forward to the day when he could drive the car by himself. He had a countdown to the day he could take the test and earn his license.
We have been doing a lot of driving lately – long distance to Ohio and Michigan and he’s gotten a lot of practice on the road. He drove the entire way home from Michigan on Monday all 360 plus miles with two stops – one for gas and coffee and the other for dinner at Chipotle a couple of miles from home.
I picked up the mail at the post office Tuesday morning and there was a letter in the mail for W – from the Secretary of State’s office. I showed it to him when he got home from football camp at noon, he was excited to see it and I gathered all of the necessary documentation – social security card, official birth certificate, two forms of identification with our address on them (bank statement and grade report), insurance card, and finally the registration. It took all of fifteen minutes.
We’d been away from home for almost two weeks, the yard needed mowing, and it’s his job. I told him the yard needed to be mowed before he could take the test. He agreed. Driving is a responsibility and I wanted him to know I was serious. When he was finished, we left for the DMV.
He drove and I could tell he was nervous. He’s a good driver and has improved greatly since my first drive with him last fall. I had a flashback to my driver training and remembered stopping past the line of a stop sign during one of my first drive’s – the driver instructor made me stop the car, put the car in park, turn on the flashers, get out the of the car and apologize to the stop sign for passing it. I was embarrassed, I giggled and laughed, but I apologized to Mr. Stop Sign. I learned. On that first drive W made the same error as I did, he stopped past the line of the stop sign, and I paid it forward.
Getting old – survived my first drive with my 15 year old – #teendrivers Yikes!
— Clay Watkins (@makingdayscount) September 28, 2013
That drive seems a million years or miles ago.
We passed the stop sign and we laughed – he remembered exactly where it was and we made a list of things not to do to during the driver’s test.
- play with the radio
- play music – loudly
- play offensive and inappropriate music
- answer the phone
- make a phone call
- check your e-mail
- send an e-mail
- take a photo
- send a text
- accelerate quickly
- slam on the brakes
- and, so many more….
We laughed and it cut the tension. When we arrived, we got in line and learned that we had to come back the next day – road tests were cutoff at 5PM. It as Tuesday, 5:04 PM. We turned around and headed home.
We went back Wednesday. We arrived and got in line at 1:18 PM. I tried to joke with him, but he wasn’t in a joking mood, so we sat quietly waiting.
They called his name and he went out to the car. The instructor did the safety check, and then he backed her up and was off. Eleven minutes later, they were back – he passed. He got his photo taken and we were done. Well done, W.
Now the adventure really begins. His first official drive was to Trader Joe’s then home. His first solo drive was to the dentist. Woohoo. I remember my first solo drive and many of the drives as a sixteen year old. I wasn’t a very smart adolescent driver and I’m not telling until he’s at least twenty-five, maybe later, or never. I know – double standard.
That’s why we work so hard at parenting: first to give roots, then to give wings. He has two more years of high school, then college. Wings.
Today is gonna be a great day. I’ve been lazy since getting home from Michigan Monday night, I’ve done a few chores, but spent a lot of time just resting and relaxing – I took several naps while W mowed Tuesday afternoon. I suppose the events of the past month have taken and toll and worn me down and I needed to rest. I’ve seen three Reds games on television; they’re on a win streak, and on the move in the standings; for a couple of the games, I saw more of the inside of my eyelids, than the game.
Yeah, today is gonna be a great day and tomorrow promises to be a million and six times better. In the meantime, I’d better focus on the here and now – I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one test, one moment, one milestone.
Do you remember your driver’s test?