OK, I did survive our first driving lessons. I don't think I had thought it through enough before I let them get behind the wheel.
I was just sure that I would be the organized kind of mother that would have Annabel at the DMV the day she turned 15 and she would sit for her exam and get her learner's permit, making her the primary driver for the whole school year. I did not factor in changing me to an organized mother and here we are, almost 7 months later, no closer to a license, so when Grace mentioned ALL her friends were now learning to drive, and knowing she will turn 15 in just over 2 months, I knew I had to get started.
I told them after church that I would let them try out driving, but did not say a specific time. After lunch, I had to have my Sunday afternoon nap, which they are usually very agreeable to, but 30 minutes later, I knew they were anxious to get started when I heard first one, and then the other, come to my door, glance in, and check to see if I was awake. No rest for the wicked?
They were surprised that I made them take separate turns, but just starting out, I knew they did not need a critic in the backseat who had no more experience than they did.
As we began, I tried to remember all the checklists and rules that I learned, but my drivers training was a really LONG time ago! I mean a long time. I spent more time trying to explain how to adjust the seat than how to actually drive.
As soon as we began to roll, I still was trying to remember about how far back you start braking when you come to a stop sign and before I knew it, we were in the middle of the intersection! The next stop sign, we stopped half a block before the intersection. I think we still need to work on that. We only had two speeds, too fast and too slow.
The next one got in the car and she did not bother to stop at any stop signs until the middle of the street, which was actually when she would speed up! We had a really close call with a telephone pole and ended with only a bumped mirror. The curbs continued to haunt us and we finally just ran up on one.
Today was a holiday, but I had to work, and before I got home I had already received a text asking if we were driving again. It's really hard to turn them down, regardless of how I feel, so we started out toward the grocery store. I meant to have her pull over before we got onto the 3 lane street, with the sun in your eyes, and considerably more traffic than we had the day before, but the word stop still seems to be foreign. We merged into the traffic, but could not seem to stay in just one lane and we were approaching a complicated intersection with even more cars, when I suggested taking a left turn onto a side street so I could drive. Oh my! We stopped in the middle of the street, just past where we needed to turn and the traffic was coming quickly. I think I might have sounded a little more anxious and explained we had to turn sharply and quickly to get out of the way!
On the way home, I suggested that I would get us away from the store, off the 3 lane street, and the other could take over. With the half block to the intersection where we needed to turn, our speed varied from about 5 to 65! Or at least it felt like it. We maneuvered the turn when a loud dinging began to sound and soon realized that in the excitement, the driver had not put on her seat belt! Lesson number one: put on your seat belt!
We got through the other turns, although the idea of turning into your lane is still a difficult concept and moving to your side, after passing a parked car needs considerably more practice. All of a sudden we were at our house and the choice was to quickly change drivers so I could pull into our driveway, or proceed. It had to be tried sometime, so with some false starts, we pulled into the driveway aiming directly at a tree in the middle of the neighbor's yard!
My plan was to save the money that drivers training would cost. I am beginning to rethink this plan. Our deductible is $500 and the cost of the drivers training is about the same. I'm pretty sure that would be the best money I could spend!
Stay tuned! If you are on Facebook, we will post so you will know when to get off the street!