Monday, May 3, 2010

Take a Thrill Ride with a Teenager Behind the Wheel

Training a teenager to drive is on my “Top Ten List” of worst parenting experiences—slightly above having my mouth throw-up INTO by a 2-month-old. 

Because I was once driven by a teenager:

·         I still sweat at night 
·         I have a recurring rash 
·         I’ve aged prematurely

My friend recently told me that her daughter, nearly 15, will be taking Driver’s Education classes this summer.  I laughed... and then my facial tick came back.

“We’ve taken her out a few times already,” my friend reported, “and she does pretty well."
“You’re fooling yourself.” I told her, “Wait till you get her on a highway--it’s “Freddy Krueger” scary.”

David, my oldest son, led me to believe he had experience seven years ago when he first started driving, because my husband, Fred, had taken him out several times to practice.  “Okay, let’s take a ride,” I said.

Apparently, Fred had forgotten the “Put Your Foot on the Brake When Making a Turn” lesson.  During our first “donut” (there were more to come), my hair turned snow white.  After the last complete revolution I was tensed up so far into the fetal-position I could have fit into a 12” box.

“STOP!!!!!” I screamed, white hair flying.

The gravel and dust cloud he created has finally subsided somewhere over the Ukraine.

Backing up in a teenager driven car is another fun memory.  My over 6-feet-tall son didn’t realize the mirrors were adjustable.  He blindly backed out of a Wal-Mart parking spot and we first heard breaks squeal, then saw a man with a walker “fast-walk” behind a truck, presumably to hide, losing both of his tennis balls in the process.

“Sorry!”  He called out the window and once again threw it in reverse without checking his mirrors.  Horns blared and a few middle-finger salutes later, we left the lot in shame.

Certified driving instructors have a few advantages.  For one thing, they have a car that is equipped with a second brake pedal.  They also have a STUDENT DRIVER marker on the roof, which repels most sensible drivers.  I also firmly suspect they are heavily medicated.  We parents don’t have those luxuries.  Riding with David was like being on a wild amusement park ride, feeling sick and wanting to get off, but instead hearing the “Carnie” working the controls yell, “You wanna go FASTER?” 

When our second son, Jon, was old enough to drive, we paid a large sum of money to have a private school teach him, because, included in their fee, a driving instructor would take him on the road for his full 30 hours of practice-- instead of us.

I would have prostituted myself to get the money to pay for this privilege.  


Nicci said...

I laughed soooooo hard! Thanks for the reassurance!

Joanne said...

I soooooooooooo understand! I have 5 grown kids and the white hairs to prove it! My husband took our oldest son out to drive one night. He came home, got down on his knees and kissed the ground, handed me the keys and said he's all yours!

ssaretsky said...

Haha! I had to do my time with three of them! I'm still amazed that I lived through it. I'm not even good when I drive with my husband. Thanks for the memories...most have been repressed but I was able to drudge up the safest ones!

Angela Weight said...

LOVE IT!!! I'm going to become a follower. I so appreciate your sense of humor.

Angie Paxton said...

Oh hilarious! Thank heavens my kiddo is only two and I have a few years to dread this experience. Thanks for following my blog!

Linda Higgins said...

ok that brought back a lot of memories except I never got behind the wheel thank goodness, I let my hubby take that over. I had enough to do with those darn kids! Thanks for visiting my blog, I will be back often. You are a wonderful writer!♠

Von said...

NO,NO,No,NOOOOO! Never do it!!!!