If you’ve driven past my car and I stared out at you from the passenger seat with a terrified expression, understand I wasn’t afraid of you–but of my chauffeur: My teenage daughter. In December, the State of Utah decided my daughter should be given a learner’s permit based on the fact that she’s breathing and a legal citizen.
One of her first questions: “When are you going to teach me how to text while I’m driving?”
“Hahahahaha! You’re so funny,” was my response. Until I realized she wasn’t joking.
For the last six months, I’ve endured scary left turns, close-call parking incidents, the freeway, two-wheel turns and four-way stops. I’ve aged 20 years since December and have prayed to every deity in the phone book. Moms are the original crash-test dummies.
(Mick’s first attempt at parallel parking)
Well, today, my baby turns 16. She’s passed her driver’s ed courses, done all the requisite driving (torture) with her mom and is ready (or so the State says) to take the keys to my car. All we need to do is go to the DMV, wait in line for a couple of days (don’t worry, I’m taking a book), pay a small fee (with additional fees attached), brace our insurance company and fill up the gas tank.
I don’t think it should be so easy. She’s 16 for hell’s sake! She can’t vote for president of the United States but she can hurtle down the freeway in a two-ton vehicle. God help us all. I’ve survived four daughters-worth of driver’s training. Now I just need to survive the next 50 years of worrying about them.