Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Going to Have to Do This Ten Times?

My poor son has two choices for practicing driving; the little car --the Suburban, and the Mastodon, our 12 passenger van.   His course work was with Honda Civic that seated five.  As a result, there have been adjustments.   For example, his instructor said to pull halfway into the road, which if you do that with the van, you are all the way blocking.  So we've had to quarter the counsel he learned.   Breaking distance is the car length+seconds for your car's length, not the one in front of you.  It's a pain and an ongoing process for both of us.

I don't know if anyone else sucks in as if putting on tight jeans when their child hugs the curb and those mail boxes and trees look ever so closer than is comfortable; it's not like I'm going to make the van suck in and slenderize as it glides by the curb anymore than I'm going to become skinnier by exhaling hard while sucking in my stomach.  The reality is he has to drive this tank and so he must maneuver this tank.  It still stinks.

To his credit, he's a very careful driver.  Far more disciplined than I was at 15.  (Yes 15, I am probably the single reason that experiment died so quickly in Texas but that's another story).

The idea of trying to carve out 60 hours of drive time for ten separate children all of whom have their own personality quirks which will be exaggerated by the addition of a 3-4 ton (this) vehicle makes me reconsider whether or not  we really want to own a car or have drivers period.  Walking regardless of the weather suddenly has new found appeal.  

Then one of my friends faced with her own teenage driver talked about buying a third car.  I know we had one when I was a teen.  I know it would make teaching driving easier, but there are realities which one knows, once one embraces, have permanent consequences.  Paying for college, having a baby, buying a house, these are all moments of definition that will shape everything that follows.  Buying a third car. This would be one of those rubicons. 

I thought about the expense.  I thought about insurance.  I thought about parking on our drive way and manuevering out.  I thought about how it takes a Herculean effort to get the vehicles we have now serviced and one of them gets those sorts of things for free!  As I consider the hassle versus benefits calculation of even thinking about the idea, my mind gropes for an escape hatch, for something, anything other than this.  I can only think of one bribe possibly sufficient.

Hey son!  You know how you always wanted a dog?


Cathy D said...

Our daughter got her learner's permit 2 weeks ago. When I ride with her, I'm constantly pushing on the imaginary accelerator as she drives 20mph in a 30....

MightyMom said...

cathy cracked me up! most folks push an imaginary BRAKE!!

my friend's mom always said back when she and I were 16
"an inch is as good as a mile"....about 5 zillion times before she got out of the car!!

Maria said...

A NASCAR fan would tell you... "Hey, rubbin's racin'"

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