There is a certain point in parenting when you feel like all you do is chauffeur your children around and get little else done. One morning I counted seven times leaving my home before noon. As you can imagine, I was thrilled when they were old enough to begin driving but it didn’t come without it’s problems. This does not include the huge insurance bill we paid each month for multiple teen drivers.
First there was Annie, my free, fun-loving spirited child. She so enjoyed the drive her focused lacked at times. Practicing with her changed me forever. As she accelerated, I noticed up ahead the drivers break lights. I start praying out loud, while Annie calmly looked from side to side saying, “What? What?” We survived and so did the cars. One time when the whole family rode in the car, Annie practiced under Jer’s instruction. I felt a little uneasy with her having all our lives in her hands but we weren’t too far from home. It was night and she came to a stop at a red light. Next to the light hung a sign saying, “Yield to oncoming traffic.” The intersection was clear of all traffic, so she proceeded to turn on a red light. While I freaked out in the back seat, Jer calmly asked, “Okay, so what can we learn from this?” Such a great thing to ask after making a mistake. The day came when Annie got her license. Driving around in a nine-passenger station-wagon wasn’t exactly the coolest thing to do but the sense of freedom still felt thrilling to her. Another problem with a car like that was its length. One time she backed out of our driveway and into our friends car parked across the street. She totaled a car while driving a couple siblings when not watching the car in front of her slow to a stop. Thankfully no one was injured and the other car took off without notice. Annie wasn’t the only one with mishaps. Ike got a ticket for excessive noise as he drove away from a church youth event honking his horn repeatedly, late at night. Jo got a ticket for following to closely behind a squad car. The foggy night made it hard to see in an area he was unfamiliar with. After several miles, the police moved out of his way and let him pass, only to pull him over. While funny, I felt bad for this young driver whose only concerned was with finding his way home safely.