Friday, February 01, 2008

A Boy with a Driving Permit

On January 17th, my oldest son turned 15 years old. Well, here in Missouri, that means driver permit time! On January 18th, we went to the Missouri Motor Vehicle Driver's testing office and Connor took the written exam and passed! He now has a Missouri Driver's Permit License in his wallet! Oh boy! I feel so old! I have a son who will be driving on his own in 11 short months.....YIKES!

On the 18th, he asked me if he could drive home after he got his permit. The answer was a firm, NO. I needed to have a drink and relax before getting in the car with him behind the wheel. No really, I wouldn't think about drinking and letting my son drive! My dad was at my house when we got home & Connor talked his poppy into taking him to Cosmo Park and letting him drive through the park. They came home and Dad told me, while trying not to laugh, that he did very well.

I got the nerve up to let him drive that afternoon and evening around town, trying to avoid any roads that had traffic or vehicles on them. In Columbia, that's not possible! Maybe at 2:00 am in the morning but not during day light hours! He drove down Stadium, while I braced myself in the passengers seat with my foot on the pretend break! He did pretty well. We need to work on the stopping and starting. I am sure that a couple of times I was close to having whiplash! The most exciting part of our driving experience that day was driving into our garage! As we pulled into our driveway, I told Connor to make sure that he clears both sides of the van and make sure that he doesn't hit the mirrors. He got a little close and I told him to back up a little and straighten out the vehicle some, well, instead of backing out a little, he backed out all the way to the road! While we were driving back up the drive into the garage door, I proceed to tell him to take it slow and when he reaches the ball hanging down to STOP!!!! He reached it before I could finish telling him what to do! He comes to a screeching stop and I am relieved to be stopped and getting out of the vehicle at that time!

The next day we were going to KC to a soccer tournament. He asked me several times if he could drive some more. Well, it will be a very long time before he is allowed to drive on I70 but I would consider letting him drive on Highway 50 when we head to Sedalia on Sunday evening from KC. I do let him drive from Warrensburg to Sedalia. We had 2 very exciting moments on that little trip! One a car was turning right off of the highway onto a side road, Connor is driving full speed and I'm trying to tell him that he can get in the passing lane and pass him but make sure their are no cars in that lane....well he had to put on the breaks before he could look and get over! Second, we have a little trouble when we come up on a big curve. He is driving with the cruise control on and as we approach this curve, I start to tell him that he will want to put his foot of the pedal so he has control over the vehicle and the speed of the car because sometimes it picks up speed around curves. We picked up speed until he put his foot on the break to slow down.

The really awesome thing about the drive from Warrensburg to Sedalia is that each time he was tested in his driving skills, we smelled a skunk! You may ask-soo? What's so great about that? My grandfather, who was killed in a car wreck when I was in 8th grade, loved the smell of a skunk-he said it clear his nostiles! Everytime I am on the highway driving and I smell a skunk, I think of my grandfather and smile and know that my guardian angel is with me on the road. My grandpa was with Connor and I and I felt a little more secure after smelling the skunk. When we got to my Mom & Dad's, I asked them if the smelled the skunks coming home and they didn't! Just a little more proof that I have a guardian angel :-)

I am sure that I will have some more stories about riding in the vehicle with my son! Just keep us in your prayers! I am so nervous and scared about letting him drive on his own when he turns 16 and get's his license! I am thankful that he has a whole year to become comfortable with a vehicle.


EE said...

I think it's great that the kids get a whole year to practice driving with an adult in the car.
We only got to learn to drive in driver's ed or illegally with our parents.
Congrats to Connor!

BexInTheCity said...

wow, what a sweet story about the skunk smell!! it gave me chills.