Thursday, March 17, 2016

Driving.... Miss Bethany

Having FINALLY gotten Jacob officially licensed, meant it was now time to start the process all over with Bethany.

Jacob's journey to get his license was a long and drawn out event.  At 15.5 he got his learner's permit and drove a total of ...... 3 times before his permit expired. Sigh.  Upon moving it took us a good year before we renewed his permit.  Once renewed we STILL didn't do a ton of driving with him.  It's just not as convenient when the main road we travel is a 65 mph route.  However, despite our mucked up approach, he did manage to get his license -- at 18 -- and so far is a pretty decent driver.

Did we do it the right way?  Well, not necessarily, but... he's still driving.

Fast forward a bit.

Now, it's Bethany's turn.  She too got her learner's permit when she was around 15.5.  She's now 16.5 and she's driven...... maybe...... 30 minutes total.

It's like deja vu all over again.

This past week she asked to drive on the trip to take her and Elijah to the library for their volunteer work.

I happily obliged.

I was nervous about her backing out of the garage -- you know -- mirrors, the side of the garage, not to mention the other vehicle in the garage parked beside us.


She did it.

Did I mention I always told Techno he should be the one to teach our kids to drive?  He's the patient one.  Me?  Not so much.

Here's several of the comments I made as she drove.  Granted lots of other conversation and dialogue took place; but these stayed with me as I smiled - yes, I did say smiled - upon returning from our driving adventure.

"Remember, our driveway isn't straight back."
"Watch for cars as you back out into the street."
"Yep, that wasn't QUITE the driveway, but now you are ready to go forward."
"It's muddy so move a little toward the center so we don't slide into the snow filled creek."
"As you approach the stop sign, you'll want to slow down."
"Not that much, that soon."
"Now ease up and look for cars."
"Go ahead and turn on to the highway, but remember the speed limit is much faster."
"Be sure to stay in your lane; we're not on the dirt road anymore."
"The speed limit lowers to 30 up ahead, you'll want to start slowing down."
"Not that much, that soon."
(Hmmmm, that sounds familiar.)
"Make sure you turn on the left turn signal to go into the Friendly Store parking lot."
"Yes, push the lever down."
"Ok, turn into the library drive then park in one of the spots."
"Well, that 'invisible' car that could have been parked in that spot is now smashed."
"Diagonal is not quite the same as vertical when it comes to parking."  ;-)
"Now, back out of the spot into the drive then move forward to the road."
"Yeah, putting it in drive after backing up usually helps."  :-)
"Ok, move a bit to center." 
"This is actually a parking berm.  Move to center."
 (as I grab the wheel to guide her over to the left just a bit.)
"What are you doing?  You can't stop in the middle of the road!"
(I guess trying to nudge the steering wheel for her, freaked her out a bit.)
"Now turn into the parking lot."
"Well, that's not quite the parking lot I meant."
(As she zoomed through the Friendly store parking lot and right into the Old Corral lot.)
"Back out, but be sure to watch the pole behind us."
"Good job slowing down and staying over for that truck."
"Ok, just because no cars are coming toward us, doesn't mean you have to go that fast.
This is a residential area, on a dirt road."
(As she zoomed toward 35 mph in our little subdivision)

We all survived.

Elijah expressed his nervousness with some running commentary about Bethany's driving abilities.

Bethany sniped, "Your commentary ISN'T helping."

She did good.

If you take into consideration that the only other times she'd driven was in a parking lot the day she got her permit for about 15-20 minutes and a time or two of driving from the fire dept to our house..... (an approximate 1 mile drive)..... She. Rocked. It.

This is why we TEACH kids to drive.  It's not automatic.

I may have a few more grey hairs, but I got plenty from Jacob as well.  I'll get even more from Elijah.  We won't even mention how many I'll have by the time Selah is ready to get behind the wheel.

So, we're at it again.  Working toward our second licensed teen in the house.

She'll get there.

No rush on our part.  

Even though she'd love to have her license yesterday, we still pretty much all go to the same places, at the same times, together.

I'm happy to hold on to her childhood a tiny bit longer.

This time won't last long.

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