7.06.2008

When Your Children Drive

There is an urgent need for rules for your child to get his first driver’s license.

Yes, I have rules. I have two sons 17 months apart and I knew deep in my heart that when it came to the driver’s license season, I would be in deep hurt with trying to pay for my sons’ driver’s training, license fee, insurance, gas, and, and, and….. not to mention the worry involved in keeping them afloat. You see, mothers have a DNA code that is part of their brain, where they must visualize their baby child driver-wanna-be actually driving safely, following the rules, and NOT talking on their cell phone because you are positive they cannot multitask at the young age of 16.

So – my rules were modest and simple:

  • Earn at the very least a C average per semester. I know - low, low, low – but it takes the pressure off so they can concentrate on all the busy roads, crazy drivers, and all the spontaneous combustion that goes along the highway – jaywalkers, sirens, road rage, elephants falling from the sky (it could happen!).


  • Have a job to pay for the gas.


  • Have a really good job to also pay for the insurance.


  • Do the grocery shopping for your hard working mother.


  • Never drive after dark.


  • Never drive with someone else in the car with you unless they are old enough to be your parent, and then only if your actual parent gave permission.


  • No girls.


  • No boys.


  • No food, beverage, or any other item that might take your eyes off the road and your mind off your driving.


  • So, both boys opted to just not get their license nor drive until they were well out of the house, in their mid-20s.

    My oldest joined the Army right out of high school. This is another story – but all their life I teased them that they would have to join the Army in order to pay for college. I was TEASING! But my oldest took me seriously and of all things he went into the Infantry. Shooting guns. Tell me that I didn’t just ramp up my scale of worrying to a fever pitch. Bad enough I worried when they would be driving – now shooting guns! Anyway, I was slightly mollified by the fact that he still didn’t have a driver’s license and therefore didn’t drive. But his buddies in the Army talked him into buying a truck, which he kept on base and the buddies spent their spare time tinkering on it. They taught him how to drive and so he drove around the barracks until he ran out of gas. They would pool their money and fill it with gas and he would venture to the other end of the base and back. Finally got his license when he was 24 years old.

    My youngest knew how to drive; he would sneak out to my car and drive it around the block, until I caught him one day and grounded him for the rest of his natural life. He finally got his license when he was 26 years old.

    Now that they had their licenses and their own cars, my mothering skills hyped up a notch, and I had to mentally focus on their driving skills by osmosis. It’s a mother’s duty. Drive carefully, I would say. Don’t pick up hitchhikers. Pay your insurance. Follow the rules. Don’t speed. Don’t tailgate. Don’t pass or turn without your blinkers. Be courteous. Drive defensively because all the other drivers on the road are maniacs.

    The boys would tolerate me. They would nod their heads in agreement and then peel off down the road.

    Even today, however, I “worry” them to safety. I always, must tell them to drive carefully. It’s like a spell I put on them that protects them. If I forget to tell them, I am in a total panic mode that something terribly awful will happen to them (I also tell them they have to call me when they are safely home – to which one or the other will say, "Mom! I’m 35 years old!") And I say that doesn’t matter. Call me! I have to sit on my hands to NOT call them on their cell phone, because they might actually answer the cell phone and be driving their killer car in traffic while talking on their cell phone! My work is never done!

    .

    3 comments:

    Cheryl said...

    OMIGOSH! LOL - I know the pain, or that is, as the mother of a 10 year old boy, I anticipate the pain! Cher

    MarmiteToasty said...

    My older two started off with moped which they all crashed and one nearly died.... so when Sam came of a moped age I told him no way I couldnt go through all that again...... My oldest still dont drive, he got a driving ban when he had his moped lol.... which was a long long ban as an example, so that will finish soon....

    Sam got his car from me for his 18th with strick rules.... main one being if ya every drink and drive I will put a sledgehammer through the car, and he knows I will.... sometimes as I do, ya just have to bit the bullet and try not to worry...

    Tom ended up in a ditch twice within the first week of getting his car, twice a phone call from the police one being to say he had been rushed to hospital..... we have had 3 of me lads maties die on the roads so it is scary BUT.... we have to trust them....

    When Tom or Sam go out the last thing I say is, be safe, drive carefully, no drugs, drink or wild woman :)..... Sam was smashed into a few months ago on a roundabout, a hit an run bloke got him.... but the police have sorted it out BUT it was an eye opener for Sam as to, it dont matter how good a little driver ya are, its the other idiots on the road that can cause the problems....

    His girlfriend that was in the car at the time, her dads a copper here so there was NO WAY the bloke that hit them was getting away with it lol.....

    This post as usually is extremely funny :) fanks for starting me day off with a smile ..

    x

    Michaéle said...

    I have a somewhat new driver..he's had his license now since December. We have similar rules with him and he's just an awesome kid so he has definitey earned the privilege. My oldest daughter will be taking driver's ed this fall....SHE'S the one I'm worried about!!!!