We have had a big development at our house this month; J is now DRIVING!
She got her learner’s permit recently, after she turned 15 in August. She studied hard and passed her test with flying colors.
This is a parenting first for me – having a teenage driver – because Henry really wasn’t that interested in driving, and frankly, we didn’t really want him driving – for obvious reasons. He did get his learner’s permit when he turned 15, but he basically never drove as a teenager. Ever.
So J is my first teen driver. I played no role in teaching her to drive; her dad handled all of that, and it appears he did a fantastic job. She’s very good, very careful and very confident (I worry that she’s overconfident). She loves to drive, as one would expect, and she wants to do it at every opportunity. Whenever we get in the car, she’s asking to drive. And I find myself wanting to say no more than I want to say yes.
My reason for wanting to turn her down on the driving is all about me and has very little to do with her; even though she is clearly pretty good behind the wheel, riding in the passenger seat with her driving makes me unbelievably, irrationally nervous. As she pilots the Honda minivan home from school or to the grocery store with great elan, I sit beside her, chewing my nails and biting my tongue. I literally have to consciously prevent myself from commenting on every move she makes. Often, I fail miserably, and I suddenly blurt something out about turn signals or following too closely, and I can see that I’ve just made her nervous rather than helping her in any way. But it’s like I am possessed by Satan when J drives; I can’t keep my mouth shut. Something compels me to spew unsolicited and often unhelpful advice.
I will keep working on this. Maybe by the time G turns 15, I will have myself under control.