Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Learning to Drive

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?


Common Household Mom said...

When I was learning to drive, my first lesson in the stick shift (standard transmission) car - a Datsun B210 - consisted of my Dad taking me out onto the regular city streets. No practice with the clutch in a parking lot. What was he thinking?! I couldn't get the hang of it, and so we had to switch seats in the middle of traffic, and he drove home. I did eventually get the hang of it, and wish I could teach my kids how to drive stick shift, but we don't have that kind of car anymore.

GerdieMom said...

Wonderful to see grandma's car again! Thank you for posting that. I loved that car too! And sorry to say...I think you're delusional. Of course that's coming from someone who has already started worrying about this and the kid's are just two and four.