Swallowing hard i looked around to see if perhaps there was a reason we couldn't go through with it…perhaps another day would be better….but no, the lonely road was bare except for our family stationwagon and a girl beaming ear to ear urging me out of my seat.
This girl that once dressed in tutus and made cakes in the sandpit was standing before me all grown up and holding her driver's license, ‘L' for learner plates! How did this happen? My heart was screaming that this baby of mine wasn't old enough to be behind the wheel of a car yet….surely she couldn't be 16 and ready to embark on a whole new adventure leading to yet more Independence and another step away from me?
Surely getting a part time job and already looking like a beautiful 19 yr old is enough for this old Mum to cope with…surely?
But no….she took the test (twice which i have to say didn't inspire confidence…)and passed and now she is begging us every minute to let her drive somewhere.
I can't describe the fear and yet the desire to teach and guide her well. But the fear my friends…oh my goodness i was not prepared! I have a lot of trouble letting go as it is and to sit in the passenger seat while your ‘little girl' begins to drive off…on a real road no less, had me near hysterics (on the inside of course…all good mothers have learnt how to internalise by the time their kids are teenagers!!)
We head up the deserted road and she is actually doing quite well…i loosen my grip on the logbook and begin to relax just a little. Then it happens…..another car is coming and i think i may hyperventilate…she seems to be having a little issue understanding where the middle of the road is and just how far to our side she NEEDS to be right now…i instruct and guide her calmly using that Mummy voice (well that's what i heard..apparently i wasn't exactly that calm….) and then the car is past us…and you know what? I glance over at another young driver gripping the wheel tightly while an anxious looking father sits in the passenger seat….the L plate clearly displayed!We all survived!
I have since learnt that Sunday's are a popular day for learner driver's to be on the roads…funny i had never really noticed that before. At least i felt like i was not the only one experiencing a little fear that day!
I managed half an hour with a few 3 point turns and crossing of intersections before i really felt the need to call this first lesson to a close….the twins would be needing me you understand darling….you did great but we will have to stop until another day now….(please let that day be far away!)
I am ashamed to admit that i have only managed 3 more lessons before admitting that perhaps i'm really not up to this task…there doesn't seem to be any control from the passenger seat you see! Don't get me wrong….she is a very responsible girl and she is trying her best and we all have to begin to learn somewhere…..i fully understand and appreciate that……but apparently i am a little ‘stressful' to drive with.
Hmmmm…..good thing her stepfather is such a patient man and seems to enjoy taking her out for lessons (not that that was my plan you understand) and i really don't mind paying the exorbitant $60 hour for the professional lessons……of course…..as many as you need darling…it's worth it really…..they have so much control with those pedals on the other side of the car as well…what a great idea!
I'd love to be the sort of Mum who is wonderfully patient and not at all anxious in moments like these but sometimes you just have to realise your weaknesses and limitations…and what is actually best for your child…no matter how well intentioned you are……and that is the reality of family life my friends!
I have no idea how i will handle her actually driving off by herself…perhaps i will have let her go a little bit more by then….but probably not!
It just occured to me that we will have 2 girls at the same time to teach to drive when the twins reach this same age….perhaps their older sister would like to help while Mummy has a nice cup of tea….??
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