I don't know who thought it was a good idea to give teenager's the ability to drive. I think they're on crack.
My teenager succeeded in proving to the state of Georgia that she is capable of driving. On the highway. By herself. Without us in the vehicle with her.
Sweet goodness and mercy.
That girl of mine has been itching for some independence and The Man and I put it off as long as we could. We really did. This is my baby. My 3 pound 7 ounce baby who came into this world early and has fought since day one to be herself. I don't see this young lady who has taken classes on driving, logged in supervised hours with parents and instructors, and taken tests to prove she can, indeed, drive a vehicle. I see my baby.
She now shares a car with The Man. He does that carpool gig to work and one of his co-workers live in our neighborhood, so they share that driving chore. This allows her to have the car to drive to school two to three days a week, depending on his driving schedule. She went to the office and applied for a parking permit for school and paid for it with her own money. She hasn't driven yet, her first day is tomorrow.
I remember driving to school. Oh, how cool I was to thumb my nose at that big yellow school bus that was freezing in winter and blazing hot in the summer. Times are different now than when I first got that precious piece of plastic back in the day. My friends and I would beg and borrow vehicles from family members and pick each other up so we could all be cool together. She doesn't have that luxury. For six months, she's only allowed to have family members in the vehicle with her. I am totally okay with that. I also grew up in a very small town, that at the time, had only one red light. My friends and I learned how to manage a vehicle on back country roads before hitting towns with decent traffic and more than one red light. Where we live is interstate, four lanes, six lanes, on ramps, off ramps, exits, big roads that curve over and under you and confuse the crap out of you until you drive them a couple hundred times. I, myself, am just now comfortable driving all these confusing roads and it took me almost a year!
The other day I sent her to get her sister from chorus practice. Not a big deal. I also asked if she would run to W*lmart and pick up a bag of rice for supper. Are you kidding me? She was all over that chore. (unlike house chores like kitchen patrol or cleaning her room) Now, the school is five minutes to the right and W*lmart is five minutes to the left when you leave our neighborhood. Easy peasy.
If you're not geographically challenged it is. My poor child would have a problem finding her way out of a paper sack. Sad, but true. My son has a built in compass like his father and knows his way all over town, but my teenager begs the use of the TomTom to go five minutes in opposing directions. I wouldn't let her take the trusty GPS because, come on! Five minutes away, Internets!
I should have let her take it with her. They got lost. Well, they missed a turn. A very important turn. Three times.
The first time they realized it when they were riding along, talking and listening to music and one of them states, "Wait a minute. These houses don't look familiar." Wouldn't that be a clue to turn the music down and hush? Not when you're a teenager and preteen who are in a vehicle with no adults and feeling pretty dang cool with life.
Suffice it to say, a thirty minute trip took about an hour. I didn't call them and they didn't call me. I honestly thought they were walking around the store. I'm glad I didn't know they were turned around and a tad lost. I'm even more glad they didn't call and worked together to find their way. Did I worry? Yeah, I did. A little bit. Then again, I know my kid is a careful driver and she would protect her little sister with her life. That kind of evens it all out, ya know?
The most painful part of the whole process was putting her on our insurance. Holy higher rates! It makes me blink hard and swallow fast when I think about what we're paying for that sweet darling to get behind the wheel. I still may have to enter a recovery program to fully get over the shock.
She is dying to get a job and make her own money to help with insurance and gas and all that is expensive. Seriously, the kid is all about working and not asking us for money. While I respect her for that and know she is sincere, we're not allowing it because she has two AP classes this school year and grades are way more important than a job at this point. Maybe next year when her work load is lighter at school. We'll see.
You all realize that I'm not old enough to have a child with a driver's license. Okay, let's rephrase that. I don't FEEL old enough to have a kid with a license. I am in total denial that time is starting to fly by for me and my next birthday is a MAJOR birthday that we won't talk about just yet.
I guess it's true that time stands still for no one.
Time to let that oldest baby bird of mine see what's outside this nest.....
......as long as she doesn't speed while doing it.