A student driver and his mom

March 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm Leave a comment

Geewiz, I am finally getting to the point where I can sit down and complete this blog – a blog that I have been playing with since mid-January. Oh well, the passage of time will gift me more material to write. So, without further adieu – YES – my son, the one who just turned 16 years old in January, has become a student driver. I have always known that ‘this’ milestone would arrive, and like all of the others, I have been weepy-eyed and woeful. My baby is now behind the wheel of a car. Geez.

The interesting thing about this whole experience is that my son has absolutely no interest in driving. He loves ‘go’ carts, but ‘real’ cars? He can honestly care less. My son, like all other teenage boys on this planet is unique. However, I must suffice it to say that his dis-interest in driving puts him in a small minority of 16-year-old boys whose need for independence/freedom and speed is trivial. “How did this come to pass” you may ask? I am not quite certain, but I believe it has a lot to do with the stupidity he has seen on the roads and the comments that I or his father have made in regards to those careless encounters. Plus, every year, typically in the summer, there is a fatality or two. Unfortunate losses due to, most often, controllable circumstances. I say controllable because these ‘kids’ are driving too fast, while intoxicated or distracted by a smart phone and passengers in the car – all poorly made choices which could have been avoided. I believe that these incidents combined with statistics and the state’s revised driving rules and regulations, may have created this lack of desire in my son’s head in regards to driving. By the way, he wrote an essay in the 7th grade on how ‘kids’ are not ready to drive at the age of 16 – 21 would be better. His argument was based on lack of maturity and too many distractions (cell phones, texting). Humph, smart young man:)

His driving experience thus far has been okay at best. He is taking driver’s education at school, so it is not like a commercial driving school; it is actually a class – with tests, assignments and letter grades! He passed his learner’s permit test with a perfect score and his assignments have been straight A’s, as well. The class meets three times a week, with one of the classes behind the wheel with the instructor and one other student. So far, he has enjoyed the classroom portion of driver’s ed. His ‘behind the wheel’ experience is a whole different matter. He hates it!

Now, before I go any further, let me just say that Jordan can be a bit dramatic. I say this because, sometimes, one has to absorb what he says with a grain of salt. Apparently he has come close to knocking down countless mailboxes, backending a few semi-trucks and giving his instructor several concussions!! Yes, I am laughing while I am typing:) He finds his fellow student partner to be very distracting – apparently he talks most of the time with the instructor about his social life and sports! He has trouble keeping his left foot away from the brake pedal. He seems to think that if there are two pedals and you have two feet, well, it is a no-brainer – left foot brakes and right foot accelerates! (Yes, I am still giggling:) He gets confused which pedal is which – hits the gas when he wants to stop and vice versa. Apparently this is the cause of the near-miss concussions! One last thing, he has forgotten to strap his seat belt on ‘quite a few’ times. When does he notice this indiscretion? While he is driving, he has noticed his belt was not on, so without thinking clearly, or shall I say, thinking like a passenger, took his hands off of the steering wheel and, well, this is where the so-called near-miss backenders almost took place. Yikes! (Yes, I am thinking the same thing – shouldn’t the instructor have checked this and brought it to his attention before he allowed Jordan to place the gear shift into drive????)

Apparently each driver is given a score after every practical ‘road trip’. The highest score is 12 points. Jordan’s scores have been consistent across the board – 6’s, with the exception of a 6 1/2! In knowing what you read in the second paragraph of this blog, do you think that my son is devastated by his average driving scores? Nope. He is frustrated, but he is not loosing sleep over it. He has decided that he is a sucky driver and that he hates driving, and, well, that is about it. Case closed. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Close the book and put it away!

I have had the opportunity to take Jordan out for a few ‘spins’ in my car. On the weekends he has been with me, we have kept his skills corralled in a big empty parking lot and he has done a spectacular job. This weekend, I plan on taking him out – in a neighborhood – on streets – other cars present – intersections, maybe even a traffic light. Am I nervous? Yes, but he seems comfortable driving with me and he handles my car very well + plus my car is mature;-) – unlike his dad’s BMW or the family minivan and stepmom’s car – no pressure, I suppose. I have told my son that learning how to drive is like learning any new skill. Sometimes the learning curve is short and sometimes there is a struggle, but with practice, determination and a healthy dose of respect for ‘the road’, learning how to drive can be mastered. I figure if I keep chanting this mantra, I will ‘drive’ him nuts into accepting the fact that driving is not so bad and that it is a life skill worth having.

One more thing to say before I close – mom’s ‘mature’ car. The first time I took Jordan for a drive behind the wheel of a car, I sat in the passenger seat looking at him with heavy eyes. I remembered ‘the day’ back in January of 1995 (the 25th to be exact), when I sat in the back of the car and Jordan was in the rear-facing infant car seat. His dad was driving us home from the hospital – Jordan’s first road trip. The car dad was driving is the same car I drive today and the one my son is driving 16 years later.

Entry filed under: children, discipline, feelings, goals, growing up, life, Parenting, Personal, ponderings, Relationships, school, teenagers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Swimming pool + lane lines + water = life ? It has been 24 years……

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