"Wow, here we go, walking our daughter to Driver's Ed," I said to Scott as we walked with Ling down the street.
"Another rite of passage. . . sniff,"
"Um, except I'm big enough to walk away from you guys and have nothing to do with you," said our 5'9 1/2" daughter who did NOT think this was a moment for sentimentality.
And I guess it wasn't. Scott was in his running clothes about to take off on his run. We accompanied her because we thought we had to pay the balance and attend a parent info session. Happily, we don't have to pay the balance until after her 30 hours in class and 12 hours of personal driving instruction. Unfortunately, the parent class is 2 hours and I'll go tomorrow night.
But still, it feels big to have a kid almost old enough to drive.
- Driving means she'll be in charge of a heavy piece of equipment that can easily hurt her or others.
- Driving means she'll be capable of a new freedom and distance from the family.
- Driving means she'll be able to shuttle herself and her siblings to places I don't want to drive. . .
I didn't get my license until I was 20, a combination of my stubbornness about not wanting to take Driver's Ed (which wasn't required) and my mom's reluctance. Despite my late age and great maturity, I was an awful driver at 20 and continue to be pretty iffy in my 40s. In the past several years I've run our right side door into a parking meter (with a student--it was a parking lot with lots of standing meters), and backed the mini-van into our house (with my boss). I think my terrible spatial-visual abilities and lack of awareness of anything physical (other than food) are to blame.
The driving school teacher said that after Ling gets her permit (on or near her 16th birthday, May 19th), we should drive 5-6 hours with her so she gets the basics. After all, she needs to at least be able to get the car from our house to the driving school (about 3 blocks).
I can't imagine being the person to teach her--there's a reason I haven't homeschooled my kids. Teaching a skill where I'm competent at a C+ level seems not quite right.
"I hope that I take after Dad in driving," she said after returning from her first full day.
So do I honey, so do I.