Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teen Tales: Driver's Ed, Freedom and Failures

There are certain rights of passage as you approach adulthood. Getting your driver's license is arguably one of the most monumental moments in a teenager's life.

Driver's License = Freedom

As a teen, I timed all my driver's education requirements to the day. I made sure I would be eligible to take my driver's license test on my 16th birthday. I studied, I practiced, I did everything I could to ensure I would ace those DMV exams. There was no room for error. I needed my freedom!

My license opened up a whole new world to me. I was living life without my mother, without her "talks" in the car. I was living a more social life. Friends in the car, boys in the car, after-school swimming parties, parties in general, and the beach, the beach, the beach! It was a PHENOMENAL time! Trust me, even my parents don't know how fantastic of a time it was!

And now, I'm a mother with a daughter inching closer to her own driver's license, who looks back and believes it was TOO GREAT a time.


Today, you'll find me doing the happy dance over the newest laws prohibiting teen drivers from driving friends in the car and instilling driving curfews. Back in the day, you would've found me spitting nails over such restrictive teen driving laws. Today, I argue they are the most sensible laws ever passed, freeing the parents of being the evil ones. Now, we simply point to the evil laws.

{How depressing... just that shift alone in my thinking classifies me as old and un-hip, doesn't it?}

I suppose teens equate today's teen driving restrictions the same way I equate the underwire in my brassiere... a necessary evil... painful support. You must live through both until the law (governmental or natural) indicate you've earned the right to remove the restrictions- a terrible, discomforting time in your life which one must live through in order to reach nirvana.  Governmental law tells me my girl is free after a year of solid driving without incident or accident. Natural law tells me I'm allowed to free the girls every night right after dinner.

Lucky for me, I'll have at least 6 more months before I have to point to those evil, restrictive driving laws.

D3 flunked her driver's license permit test... for the second time.

I'm sure it will be the only test which I'll ever find myself privately celebrating her failure.

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  1. That's rough for her, but I'd be doing a little happy dance myself. I got my license at 17, a couple of years before they rolled out a graduated system. Even then I knew I wasn't a bad driver, but I wasn't a good driver either.

  2. I don't remember ever driving my friends anywhere... i must have had the least cool car of the bunch, or we didn't have anywhere to go. Small town. Sixteen seems too young to drive:-)

  3. I was the same way- the morning of my 16th birthday I was the first in the line to take the test :) Now, teen drivers completely freak me out and I try to avoid them on the roads. Definitely a practical law and hopefully will be helpful for everyone :)!
    (I do, however, feel bad for your daughter for failing twice. As a teenager, that's the worst :(

  4. My parents didn't let me get a driver's license until I was 21. And at that point, I literally went around after church, begging people for lessons. It could always be worse.


  5. Most kids where I live get their licenses much later. They can't even get their permits until age 16. My son has his but can't get his license for 6 months, and then of course he can't drive with friends in the car or even siblings. In a way I am ready for him to get it, because he goes to a private school I have to drive him to, but on the other hand, I am not. I guess it's that mama bear coming out. Of course I was like you and got mine as soon as possible and was out on the roads immensely enjoying my freedom!


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