My son started school (eleventh grade) on August twenty-third, a Thursday. On Friday, he brought home paperwork for the DMV (“Department of Motor Vehicles”) related to his drivers-education course. So I took him to the DMV to get the paperwork completed.
Next thing I knew, he was sitting for his written test. Obviously, he hadn’t studied for it. But the little snot got a perfect score! Worse still, he remembered that, five and a half years earlier, I’d reversed two of the road signs on the mix-n-match section of the test, so I’d gotten two questions wrong when I’d tested. He can’t remember to clean his room, but that he remembered. The whole way from the testing area to the cashier, he was dancing next to me, poking fingers at me, and singing, “I did better’n you did! I did better’n you did!” He’d gotten his beginner’s driving permit!
But he didn’t want to drive my car, because it has no brake on the passenger side that would enable me to stop him before he hurt himself. Last Thursday, though, I insisted. He was quite certain that we’d die, but I explained to him that the only “hard” part of the drive was getting out of our apartment complex, where he’d have to turn left across traffic. But there’s a left-turn lane in the middle, and he’d seen me many times pull into that, so he knew he’d only “have” to cross half of the road at once.
I was concerned that he might misjudge his position and not pull completely out of the way of traffic, but the informal driving he’d done with me over the last few years, plus the two drivers-ed classes he’d had, combined to allow him to pull neatly into the center left-turn lane. Granted, he took forever waiting until the gap in traffic was big enough for him to brave the turn, but he finally did it.
After that, all he had to do was wait for another gap, pull into traffic going his way, and stay in that lane until he reached his turn for his martial-arts class, where the intersection had a turn arrow. And he did great!
This week, he drove from his school to his therapist, which involved two lane changes and two left-turn arrows, and he did just fine for that, too. I’m so proud of him!