Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rite of Passage

Okay, let's just try to forget about Halloween and tornado costumes and half-eaten bags of candy pumpkins that the trick-or-treaters are never going to see - just for a little bit, okay? The holiday excitement here has reached a fever pitch, and I need a little break.

So....Sunday I took my son Theo out with his brand-new driver's permit. Theo is my oldest, which means that this was a brand-new experience for me. Nothing, I mean, nothing - not getting married, not giving birth, not realizing that you like to go to sleep by 9:30 - nothing makes you feel as suddenly, irretrievably aged as putting your first-born baby boy behind the wheel of an honest-to-goodness motor vehicle. My brain essentially flipped itself inside out trying to comprehend how, in a time span encompassing approximately 15.8 seconds, I went from trying to figure out how to buckle in Theo's infant car seat to showing him how to adjust the driver's side mirror. I know you parents out there who have already been through this are smirking and saying, "Novice!", just as I do when I read about some young parent worrying about how to make a 2-year-old behave; but, dear Lord, how did this happen? Where did the time go? How did I get so old?

Okay, okay, I'm going to calm down. I am glad to report that I only slammed on the imaginary brake once (okay, twice) during the entire 2-hour session. Although I noticed, once I pried my clenched fingers off it, that the passenger-assist handle that Honda thoughtfully places above the passenger-side door seems to have worked itself a bit loose. Theo had a great time and asked lots of questions, such as "If the speedometer goes up to 120, does that mean the car can go that fast?" (Over your dead body) and "Gee, can we go out on the road now?" (No, not until you learn to stop the car before the stop sign). And the whole time I was thinking, "There are 5 more kids after this one. I cannot survive this." We did leave the nice, big, safe parking lot to go out on the road (the very untrafficked side roads) at the end, with me praying that he wouldn't slam into someone's parked Volvo or Lexus (we live in an affluent neighborhood, and no, I don't know why they let trailer trash like us own a home here, either). I didn't let him go over 25 mph (let's face it, it's my one and only chance to control how he drives). We made it home, in one piece and undented, but I feel as though I aged 10 years.

I have a child that drives. I am officially old.

Pin It

20 comments:

  1. First of all, Theo must be SO exhited!

    You made me think of my dad, and the time I took my first practice drive with him. My calm, cool, totally-in-control dad suddenly became very pale and actually YELLED at me for missing a stop sign. He had never, ever yelled at me before. I burst out crying and didn't drive again for years (hence my waiting until I was 28 to get my license).

    From that perspective, I'd say you should be exceedingly proud of yourself.

    The age thing - well, I hear ya on that. Time does go by way to quickly. The kids were just born, for crying out loud!

    Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all, Theo must be SO exhited!

    You made me think of my dad, and the time I took my first practice drive with him. My calm, cool, totally-in-control dad suddenly became very pale and actually YELLED at me for missing a stop sign. He had never, ever yelled at me before. I burst out crying and didn't drive again for years (hence my waiting until I was 28 to get my license).

    From that perspective, I'd say you should be exceedingly proud of yourself.

    The age thing - well, I hear ya on that. Time does go by way to quickly. The kids were just born, for crying out loud!

    Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  3. Scary thought! My oldest is 12 so we still have a while to go on that one, especially since the driving age here is 18. Good luck. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. You give me such hope some days...and then there are those days, like today, that you just scare the crap out of me!! I'm soooo not looking forward to teenage years! God be with you!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. FA - Cool! You mean, if I yell at him, he might not want to learn to drive? I've got to try that.

    And if that doesn't work, I should move to Spain with Theresa - the driving age here is ridiculously low.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My parents left student driving for me to my middle brother. He has the patience of a saint and the intellegnce of a gold retriever. He was perfect. Train this one well, and turn the others loose on him.

    David

    ReplyDelete
  7. First off... congrats on YOU taking your son out driving. Thankfully my oldest son's father took him out almost all the time. Where I live you get your driving permit at FOURTEEN and your license at SIXTEEN! So now I have one with a license and one with a permit. All I can say, is thank GOD for Dads, I couldn't do it. I'm weak, I admit it okay!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats on surviving that milestone.

    And thanks for making me, with my oldest fast approaching kindergarten, feel young ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. onthegomom - your blog will not let me leave a comment and you have no e-mail contact, so this is the only way I can tell you that (and it only works if you are bored enough to come back and read the comments). Thanks for stopping by, and I love codeine, too. It is a very happy drug.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Man, I am not looking forward to that - although me moving to Honduras may not have to deal with it, LOL. Andre (who will be 12 in December) keeps begging me to let him drive. Um NOPE. I have taken to hidding my keys in my room so that he DOESN'T get any bright ideas in the middle of the night. Well any bright ideas about driving anyway. Unfortunately, I can't keep his other bright ideas in check.
    Although in Honduras the thing is for all the kids to get scooters - those motorized sit down look like a sorta motorcycle type scooters, which should be fun if he gets ahold of one. I can see him driving off the edge of a mountain on that thing trying to make it do something stupid like wheelies or something. And he is trying to talk my husband into buying him (and my husband) motorized dirtbikes - can't think of the actual name of them - and if they break their necks (both of them) I am not taking them to the hospital. I am just going to look at them and laugh and say told you so. LMAO
    ~Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  11. No, no no, this is the ONLY time you have to do this if you play your cards right. The way MY mother did it was that the next oldest had to do the Driver's Ed on the next one. So, my older-by-five-years brother taught ME. Now, if only I could have made a mistake without him SLAPPING ME, I wouldn't have this twitch. But my mom? SO not in a mental institution.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My son is getting ready to put me through this driver's test. I am afraid and can just imagine my hitting my imaginary breaks a lot more than you admit to!

    ReplyDelete
  13. So what you are saying is that - it is all downhill from here.

    Super.

    ReplyDelete
  14. My third child told me that when I keep grabbing onto the door handle it doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Just to let you know, it doesn't get any easier. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. And I thought I was getting old with my oldest in First Grade! I was just telling my husband how old I was the other day!! I cannot imagine teaching him how to drive. Hopefully he will be good, he has been practicing with the Hotwheels Gator for many years now. I use that imaginary brake when my husband drives!! LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. So it all balances out. 15 years go by in a few seconds, and then you age 15 years during the drive. Now you feel as old as you are.

    ReplyDelete
  17. No, Diesel, you've got it wrong. It's more like those 6-months interest-free credit cards, where, if you don't pay off your balance after 6 months, they whop you with all the interest you should have been paying for the past half a year, plus the current interest. So, I aged the missing 15 and then some.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Of course, I was bored enough to come back and read more comments. Hmmm, not sure what that says about me and my life?!!

    I am not sure why you couldn't leave a comment on my blog. Since I have only been blogging about 2 weeks, I don't know much.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I wish I hadn't read this. My oldest will have her permit in just two short years and is already informing me of what type of vehicle I will be buying for her. (She really is quite dillusional.)

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin