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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Driving us up the wall with his new permit



license.jpgMy son and I have different definitions for his newly-acquired “learner’s permit.” He sees it as an excuse to drive to the store every 10 minutes. I define it as he may learn to drive if I permit it.

Tomato. To-mato. Let’s call the whole thing off. (Please?)

It’s not that I don’t want him to drive. I realize this is an important rite of passage in a young person’s life and I really would like him to learn properly and instill safe driving habits. It’s just the process is has been more difficult than I remember when I went through it.

For instance, the state has determined that he should learn on a real car, but the tools we need are still imaginary. Like a bubble-wrap outside air bag, the scratching post arm rests, and the passenger-side break pedal. I look like I’m doing the Texas Two-Step every time we get 500 feet out of the driveway.

While there are a lot of restrictions with a learner’s permit, there is one glaring omission in the rule book: 15 YEAR OLDS ARE ALLOWED TO DRIVE A CAR. But not between 10 p.m.. and 6 a.m. so I suggest you find out how late Publix is open and if you can arrive to work before sunrise. You’re welcome, Florida.

Because the DMV is apparently devoid of any bureaucratic hoops that would allow me to prolong the inevitable, we’ve had to implement a few restrictions of our own. Such as no driving with any of his younger siblings in the car. And no driving after dark. Or when it rains. Or during rush hour. Or on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and alternating weekends. Or with the moon in Virgo.

But at least the written test proved he was road-ready. Questions like, When making a left-hand turn, do you, a) signal, come to a complete stop and wait for traffic to clear, b) play chicken with oncoming traffic or c) turn up the radio and hope for the best ensure he’s knowledgeable.

With all of that said and his 16th birthday just around the corner maybe there’s a more apropos definition to this temporary license.

Perhaps I’m going to have to eventually learn to permit this. 

Or I’ll just turn up the radio and hope for the best.

--Tracey Henry

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[Last modified: Monday, December 27, 2010 11:19am]


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