First we had “The Big Secret” (see my posts from December 7 and 12, 2009 and February 21, 2010) and now we have “The Big Adventure,” courtesy of the little yellow VW Bug in our driveway. My daughter Tory left earlier tonight to take the second two-hour segment of the six required to become a newbie driver. By early next week (if we don’t get more snow), she will be finished with her training
Yep. Only one more two-hour segment left, then she takes her road test. Of course, Tory has to pass the road test. Do you think the DMV takes bribes from scared parents? After all, this is NJ.
When she passes (and I’m sure she will. . .on the first try) I have to yield my driver’s seat to my sixteen year old. I have to pretend that I am relaxed, calm and confident in her abilities while she drives to school, her lessons and more. My stomach is roiling. My palms are sweaty. I want to crawl in a hole, not into her little VW Bug.
Tory, on the other hand, can’t wait to get behind the wheel. She gazes at her little car from the front window. She stands on the front porch for an extra second or two to admire it before she hops in and starts it for me. She has been backing the VW Bug out of its parking spot every morning to get a little practice. She has, in one short week, smashed to smithereens two of my prized boxwoods that line the driveway. My son Max only smashed one (okay, over and over again until he got that turn just right) when he was learning how to navigate our driveway.
We leave for school weekdays at about 7:40 am. We used to have a routine of sorts, Tory and I. We would both be lost in our own thoughts and my Honda Pilot was quiet as I drove her to school. That has changed. Big Time. Now when I go outside, I crawl (really) into Tory’s little VW Bug. The stereo is blasting and we go bumping (literally, I swear) up the road to a strong bass beat, we rap around corners and head-bob on to school.
Don’t get me wrong. Ask my friends and family. I love to listen to music, all kinds; however, I have a hard time listening to music at really high decibel levels in the early morning hours. But I have not asked her to turn down the music.
“Why?” you ask.
Because I remember. I remember the sheer joy of hopping into my car and waving to my friends as I pulled up to my high school. So I’ll do my best to ignore the decibel level.
And may I ask a favor from you? Would you pray for safe travels for my girl and me as we navigate yet-another life passage together? Please?