I took Andrew to take his driver’s test today. He’s been tooling around with his permit, playing chauffeur to his dad and me for about nine months now. As anyone who owns a vehicle knows, the DMV is often an exercise in patience.
We were advised to go to Sulphur; that the wait is shorter there. So we hopped on I-10 West, going out of our way, only to discover that their computers were down this morning and the waiting room overflowed with folks, all seats taken, even people sitting on the floor, awaiting licenses, license renewals, license plates, car registrations, and whatever else people go to the DMV for. The elderly woman next to me had been waiting for over two hours. Andrew and I decided to take our chances and try the Lake Charles DMV, though I knew we’d wait there, too.
We took a ticket, found seats, and opened our books. Three and a half hours and several trips to the vending machines later and we now have a third licensed driver in the house. Yep, he passed, first time!
As I sat waiting in the overly-chilled DMV, I recalled when I was 16 and got my own driver’s license (I failed the first time – we won’t talk about that) and reflected on what it means to a young person. A degree of freedom. More independence. To no longer be wholly reliant on Mom and Dad. And what it means to a parent. A letting go. A trust. A stark realization that they’re growing up. Quickly.
Advice for anyone planning a trip to the DMV: Take a big book, a bulky sweater, a whole lot of patience, and go on a day when you have absolutely nothing better to do.