My sons are presently attending drivers’ ed. So far it’s only the classroom instruction; they’re not yet on the road. That comes the week after Christmas. Curiously, I’m not the slightest bit worried about this. Aren’t I supposed to be concerned? Somewhat nervous? But no, I’m not. Although I do foresee a whole new lineup of prayers on my horizon. Maybe I trust the boys and feel confident they’ll be good drivers? Maybe I trust the driving instructor? Maybe I’m delusional?
What a right of passage – learning to drive and getting a license. Does anything say freedom more to a teenager than a driver’s license? I remember my father, never one to procrastinate, taking me out when I was 13 or 14 years old to a dirt road way out in the country and teaching me to drive his puke green vintage 1957 Ford pickup truck. I liked it better when Grandma Lowdermilk let me drive her red 1976 mustang. When I was in college, Grandma sold this car to Mom -- for me -- for $1,000.00 and a waterbed. I loved that car and drove it till it rusted away beneath me and left me stranded on the roadside one too many times.
After getting my permit, I wasn’t a bad driver, but I recall side-swiping a telephone pole once. And there was the time I got a flat tire and didn’t realize why the car was swerving erratically until I arrived at my destination. I was a pretty good driver, but I failed my driver’s test first time around. In Pennsylvania, rather than take you out on the road to see if you really know how to drive, instead there’s a little maze behind the DMV that a driver-candidate must navigate through. Parallel parking and three points turns, no problem. But since I knew there were no other cars in the maze, I didn’t see the point of stopping at the stop sign.
How do they test in Louisiana? I don’t even know.
So tell me. Got any good learning-to-drive stories?