Teaching my daughter to drive….
I saw my life flash before my eyes as the wall of Sears flew towards me. “Brake, brake, stop, stop!” I yelled as my heart leaped into my throat.
My thoughts quickly turned to, “Whiplash…note to self: make chiropractor appointment,” as we came to a screeching halt! I thanked God that we didn’t hit the wall, then silently asked why it had to be my job to teach my daughter how to drive.
I wasn’t sure that I was going to survive the stress of being in the passenger seat while my sixteen year old was behind the wheel. “You need to ease your foot slowly down on the brake pedal,” I said, as calmly as I possibly could. “Okay, let’s turn around and try it again.” I wondered whether I was crazy, trying it again.
We had gone to the parking lot of our local mall after closing. The parking lot was a wide open space where no other cars were going be in danger due to sharing the driving space with my newly driving daughter. It seemed like a good place to go to begin the lessons. We drove back and forth on the parking lot for about an hour. My daughter finally got the hang of the brake although it did take a few neck snapping stops before she learned what “ease your foot down on the brake” actually meant.
I have to admit that it was an extremely nerve wracking event for me. I did more than just a couple of those draw your breath in quickly between your teeth gasps and was very surprised to find that my fingerprints were not forever embedded into the armrest on the passenger side door.
Here, in Canada, kids get a discount on their car insurance rates and they can go in and try out for their G2 license after eight months rather than one year if they have a certificate from a driving instruction school so that was the next thing that happened: we enrolled her in “Young Drivers of Canada”. I don’t know how those instructors do it! I don’t think I could survive many months, never mind years of riding in a car with new drivers. It was hard enough that I had to help my daughter practice and ride on the passenger side while she drove! I had to teach her to, “SLOW DOWN AT THE CORNERS!” and “speed up, we’re on the highway”. She was good about not tailgating and, once the nervous jitters were over, on both our parts, I almost got to the point where I could relax. Of course, the more she drove, the better she got. I taught her how to parallel park and, as it turns out, she taught me how to back into a spot with ease.
We both survived the days of “driving with mom” and my baby got her license. It’s kind of a bittersweet moment when your sixteen year old gets their license because it’s one of those moments that makes you realize that those childhood days are over, that your baby is turning into an adult. And turn into an adult she has; she has her own car and is talking about moving out on her own.
My chiropractor bill is a little less now and I can ride in the passenger seat confident that we won’t be running into anything around us, let alone the wall of Sears.