Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The One In Which I Didn't Cry

D has been bugging me for months to let her get her permit. Months. Months. Endlessly. It wasn't annoying at all. Not a bit.

Anyhoo, I gave her one condition. Just one. No permit until she had a semester of straight A's. Simple, right? Not so much I guess. And then this year she got sick and missed two months of school. What to do, what to do....

She'll be 16 in two months and summer is a better time to learn to drive than winter so I did it. I caved. It's not that simple, but that pretty much sums it up.

Secretly, I was hoping she wouldn't pass the test. What's wrong with delaying it a little longer? Then it's her fault and not mine. That is called Brilliant Parenting. I even helped her study last night. Point scored!

Well, guess what? She passed. Barely, but passing is passing. Passing meant she got a little piece of paper that allows her to legally get behind the wheel of a car. She hates her picture so that means they did it right.

She couldn't contain her excitement. She texted everyone she knew, put it on Facebook, and walked on air for the rest of the day.

She convinced me to let her try driving. Sigh..... Fine....

I took her to a pretty empty neighborhood. Lots of unsold houses. She got behind the wheel, put on her seat belt and I started to tell her how to adjust her seat, only it got caught in my throat. I had my sunglasses on, but they didn't hide the fact that there was a single tear. Just one, but she caught it. She'll never let me live it down.

And then the street wasn't long enough. And there were too many stop signs. I didn't expect her to actually get the car in motion the first day. We soon ran out of road.

Next I took her to an empty road on the side of town with very little traffic and even fewer stop signs. And my kid? Sure, she hit a few potholes. She swerved a lot going straight. She stalled the car, lurched forward, hit the brakes too hard. She brushed against a couple of bushes. But she drove. Probably eight miles each way. It felt longer because she only got up to 40 mph once and stayed around 25 the rest of the time. A car passed us. But she drove around and passed a bicycler without panicking. She stayed calm.

She even had the wherewithal to come up with the quote of the day. "That was my first four-way!"

God, I love that kid.


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