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Summerall: Being driven insane

February 9, 2013

Several months ago I shared the angst of getting twin 15 year olds their learners permits. One of my life’s great regrets..They are sneaking up on their 16th birthday in March. 16 is the magic age for an intermediate license. It was not supposed to come this soon. Kenny keeps telling them they are only ten but I don’t think they are buying it.
Now, they want to drive. In town. On the streets where other cars are. This is not good. I abdicated teaching them to drive to Kenny. They scare me.
I was going to drive to Freds to pick some things up and the girls wanted to go. I should have known something was up when they got into the car before me. Amber was in the drivers seat.
“I want to drive! I’ll get my permit and I’ll drive.”
This is the part in the horror movie where everyone screams NO!!!! DON’T DO IT! YOU’ LL DIE!!!
So I stood my ground and said, “Go ahead, but only to the library. I need to take a movie back.”
I thought she had backed out of the driveway before, I really thought she had. I watched her put the van in reverse, keep her foot on the break, now give it a little gas....next thing I knew we were in the street. Happily facing in the right direction. Ok, I’m not dead. Now put it in drive. Amber drives pretty well in a straight line. We were coming up on a stop sign, she came to a complete stop. Excellent! I told her to turn her turn signal on and go right. She had intended on going straight some more. Nope, you need to practice turns. She took it a little close to the curb, but she didn’t hit it. I took that as a good sign. She drove another block and made a really good left turn. She used the signal lights without being told, came to a complete stop, didn’t hit the car in the other lane during the turn. (Whoever you were in the other lane you had no idea that you were in the presence of a teenage girl learning to drive. You should be dead right now. Or at least in a critical care unit.) Amber was careful driving up the street toward the library, I was honestly very proud. Then came the right turn to go to the library parking lot. A black and white police vehicle was sitting at the corner of Westbrook and Commerce. She needed to turn here. I do not want to pay for a ticket or for the replacement of one of the new police cars. Now I remember why I didn’t want to teach them to drive. She took that turn like she had been driving for years. She turned on the signal light in the direction of the library parking lot, carefully pulled into the space and gave me a look of triumph. I gave a sigh of relief.
From the back came another voice, “MY TURN!”

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