Those of you with young children can look forward to a milestone in their lives that comes with puberty and helps make the transition even more fun and exciting. I’m not sure who decided that the best time to put kids out on the road for the first time was when they were being driven to psychosis by the hormones raging in their bodies. Makes sense to me.
When L started learning, both of our vehicles had manual transmissions. Beck and I hate automatics and niether of us would own one. But it soon became apparent that the poor girl was just not going to be able to master the finer points of driving AND learn the trick of operating a clutch. So I found a great deal on a ’94 Buick Century, perhaps the unsexiest car ever made, but a ‘good runner’ as they say. As in, “Yah, she’s a good runner, y’know.” So that got one girl on the road. Delayed by a year but independant, no more chauffering that one around and she can take Q places as well. She bitches about the gas she has to buy though. One mystery to me is that although we paid for the car and we pay for the insurance, she refers to it as “my car.”
Q turns sixteen in May and has her permit, which in MN means she can drive with an adult. I had her drive me to the drugstore last night and then we took a loop around the burbs. She did a pretty good job, her corners and stops need some smoothing out, but she’s confident and careful and is trying to do it right. She also seems to have passed through the worst of the obnoxious stage. It happened suddenly a couple weeks ago. She actually is cheerful and fun to be with like the old Q. She actually was asking me for advice and deferring to my experience without a single eye-roll.
L won’t be taking the car to college, so Q can use it next year. That only gives us four months of fist fights over who gets to use it.

8 thoughts on “

  1. I got through my son learning to drive fine. Taught him shifting on an 88 Mercury Tracer we bought for $600 (which lasted only four months before a rock pierced the oil pan and wrecked the engine). But it was that first morning he just said “I’m going to school” and walked out the door to drive away that freaked me out. He’s a great driver, but that is one key moment i any parent’s life.

  2. thankfully I still have a ways to go before this happens, so until then, I’d prefer to live in a state of blissful ignorance, thank you.

  3. bring me back memories of my first car… a piece of crap… 1986 volvo… wow… it was a piece of crap… but I loved it…

  4. one of my kids just fell down the stairs, and is sitting at the bottom saying, “ow…ow….ow…” no lie.  if i ever let them behind the wheel of my car, shoot me, ‘kay?

  5. All you have to do is watch my son play a guitar, or type on a keyboard, and you’d understand why I’m eager to have him off of my insurance policy.  He wrecked one of our cars by forgetting to put the brake on and/or to put it in park.  I mean, that thing was an automatic.  And btw, “his car” is gonna be donated to charity by me in September.

  6. You’re handling two kids behind the wheel remarkably well!

    Sometimes it’s the parent that traumatizes the kid. My mom was an awful driver, just a menace. She scared me so much in the car I didn’t want to drive. Ever. I finally got my license when I was 20! And only because a friend forced me to learn, and then dragged me to DMV. I’m OK about driving now. I like to think I’m a fairly competent driver. I’ve only had one accident in almost 20 years of driving, and I’ve never gotten a ticket. I’m afraid to drive on the interstate though.

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