Is your kid driving yet?

21 Aug

Something, dare I say magical, happens during the summer after 9th grade.  My Beloved ended the school year as a kid happy to be driven around the world by her parents.  Seemingly overnight, she started talking about permits, driver’s licenses, buying a car and sweet, sweet teenage freedom.  She couldn’t have cared less about driving, but now that she’s had a birthday, she is so ready to learn.  Only trouble is, she didn’t sign up for driver’s education before school was out.

teen girl driving

The week before school starts, panic sets in as she realizes that she may not be put in drivers ed.  Just Plane Dad and I secretly do the dance of joy, knowing that if she misses this class, it will be at least another 6 months before she’s eligible.  Cut to the first day of school and thankfully [insert sarcastic tone here], the school administration thought to put her in drivers ed first semester.  Oh joy!  The one thing the school remembers to do right has to be drivers ed?  Really?

She’s ecstatic and starts planning her official “get away”.  To her father’s dismay, she now wants a vehicle; or more accurately she wants us to buy her a vehicle. After all, isn’t that what every child gets for their 16th birthday?  This beautiful blonde child was born and raised Ford, her first trip as a newborn home from the hospital was in a Ford, we’ve only ever owned Fords, her grandfather gave his career life to Ford…and this child, obviously stolen from her real parents, wants a Jeep.  Stay tuned over the next few years to see who wins this argument.

As thrilling is this rite of passage is for her, for Helicopter Parents, it’s one of our biggest fears.  I cannot fathom waving to my Beloved as she drives away for the first time, alone, in a 4000 lb. vehicle, capable of mass destruction.  Besides those normal fears, I dread thinking of that first insurance payment.  Apparently we are safe from increases until she holds her actual license…wonder how long we can drag that out?

Right now, gas is hovering around $2.19/gallon locally; I secretly wonder how far one gallon will get her.  With all of the practice driving we will be forced to endure, medical costs will definitely increase, what with all the therapy we’ll need to navigate this milestone.

As Helicopter Parents, we view driving as a nemesis; one more thing that leads to our daughter leaving the nest.  Necessary part of life, but we thought we were years away.

Hovering high and low, Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad

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