Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The hardest 90 minutes of my life as a parent (to date)?

The hardest 90 minutes of my life as a parent (other than labor, which was the hardest 18 hours of my life)? Waiting to find out if my daughter passed her road test, to obtain her driver's license.

I think I was a bigger wreck than the teenager, who was pretty anxious and nervous. Which is why we had the spouse go with her. (His nickname, back in the day, was "the human Quaalude," for his immediate calming influence.)

The appointment, at her driving school, in a car she had taken lessons in, was for 7:45 a.m. So she and the spouse left the house at 7:20 a.m., to make sure she got there on time, which they did. However, she didn't actually start the test until 8:30. (WTF is that all about?)

Can you say nervous mother?

After pacing around the house, changing light bulbs, doing laundry, cleaning the cat boxes, wiping down ceiling fans, texting the spouse, for what seemed like an eternity, the spouse texted me at 8:50:


"Perfect score."

"THANK YOU JESUS," I texted back (even though we're Jewish -- though so was Jesus).

Now the teenager has to wait 48 hours. Then go to the DMV (again with the spouse) to get her actual license, which will entail waiting on another line, for at least an hour.

Then I will officially hand over the keys to my Mini Cooper and the real worrying will begin.

So, any words of advice from you fellow parents of teenage drivers? This is a whole new world for me, having grown up in Manhattan, where no one drove, at least not teenagers. And I am terrified.

UPDATED 9/26: It's official. The teenager is now licensed to drive. Got her license -- with a really nice photo! -- from the DMV this morning.


Betty Cracker said...

Been there, done that. You're right; the REAL worrying will begin when she drives away without you! I thought riding in the car as my kid's passenger was scary, but it's nothing to the anxiety hell that ensues when she's driving by herself, or worse -- with friends.

Anonymous said...

Well done ! Less than 20 minutes...That is some test !

Fact Lovin' Liberal said...

Drink heavily?

Seriously, congrats to J3O (aka A). As for the terror, I understand it gets better over time. But, you'll of course worry about your daughter for your whole life. You'll be 90, and you'll still be asking her if she kept her hands at 10 and 2. Nature of the beast.

J. said...

@Betty, the law here is that kids are not allowed to drive friends under 18 until they've had their license for 12 months, and only one at a time after that until they are 18. I know: Good luck with that! There are other restrictions as well, including a curfew, albeit it's 11 p.m., which is no curfew IMO.

It's really the teenage boys, boy drivers, and other kids I worry about -- crashing into my very conscientious (slow, cautious) new driver.

Sigh. Going to be a loooong winter!

@Anonymous, yeah, the test is typically 15 - 20 minutes. And no parallel parking! Crazy!

@Fact Lovin' Liberal, I have to set a good example, but the thought did cross my mind. Fortunately, I keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer, for emergency shots.

Anonymous said...

No slamming the boys J. My son now has been driving over a year and yes I worry, but although he is gaining experience and independence it is great to see that. True confession that he has had only one little slip off the road right by our house, but he paid for the radiator puncture--and learned not to hide that little slip--all part of the learning and letting go.

J. said...

It's official! The teenager is now licensed to drive. Got her license from the DMV this a.m. Bonus: Really good photo! Now to deal with the insurance company. Woohoo!

J. said...

@Anonymous #2: I apologize for slamming the boys! (Girls make plenty of mistakes, too!) And yes, it is great to see your kid gaining experience and independence -- and learning responsibility. I hope my daughter will be as forthright and accepting of blame when she messes up, which she will.