Thursday, December 27, 2007
Just 17, you know what I mean
This Christmas Eve my youngest son, Thomas turned 17 which means, after a year of driving with a permit, he can now go for the driving test. His test was for 8 AM, we were there at 7. The fourth car in a line of anxious teenagers waiting for their turn to strike the first cord of emancipation from their parents. I knew what was going through his head. "Always use blinkers, don't go too fast, why does parallel parking have to be part of this anyway. How will I bear the humiliation if I fail". I failed my first time taking the test. Fortunately, I was out of high school so my friends didn't know. Truthfully, I didn't care much for driving. I did know I had to do this because my father was getting too old to drive and my mother never did get a license. The car my father owned, and that I was to drive, was his 1949 Buick Dynaflow. It looked like a tank, had no power steering and I needed a large pillow to see over the steering wheel. See why I didn't want to drive. When the two older kids needed a car, they would complain if they had to drive my mini-van. Ask me how much sympathy I had for them. But isn't driving what you had boyfriends for. Back then, boys drove and girls were passengers. Oh wait, things haven't changed in 30 years have they. My husband always drives. In the last 25 years, I can count on one hand how many times my husband has been a passenger with me driving and never for longer than a couple of miles. He can have this driving thing anyway, put me on the bus. Back to my son. It is 8 AM. His turn came. This nice gray-haired woman officer approached the car and got in. I went to wait in the building with all the other parents. We talked about how we felt. Some saw it with mixed emotion. I didn't. I saw it as another stage. Joy to the World - he passed. We went home, he called his friend. It is no longer, "Mom, can you drive me.... It is replaced by Mom, can I have the car." It starts today, and goes on from here - another rite of passage.