"Can I drive?" Could there be a more loaded question? Especially when our family of 6 is piling into the car for a relaxing weekend getaway. Letting the kid with a driver's permit drive isn't relaxing. And if we don't make it there because we let the kid with the permit drive, it's not a getaway either. But, he needs the practice. I just wish he could practice on someone else. Because I get anxious, which is why I sit in the back seat.
Making me a backseat driver.
I'm not the only one. My oldest, who's also a licensed driver, is back there with me. Coincidentally, these are the safest seats in the car. (Although, they can't protect me from the skyrocketing insurance of adding two teenage boys to our insurance.) My husband gets to ride co-pilot in the danger zone. But, any time my son changes lanes, all three of us turn our heads to check that it's clear. (And we all have an invisible brake pedal too.)
Because if we go down, we all go down together.
At least when you have a kid driving on a permit, they are not permitted to listen to the radio. Thank god, because that's one less thing for my kids to fight over. Speaking of which, they've all been instructed to stay quiet and not fight with each other in the car when one of them is driving. You'd think it's fairly obvious not to fight with the driver of a car while they're driving, even for a kid. However, we learned when our oldest was learning to drive that this knowledge doesn't come standard issue.
The only thing that's automatic is the car.
Which, when I learned, I learned on a stick, in a parking lot. Because the learning curve on a standard is a lot steeper. And these kids will never know how hard it is to go up a hill from a dead stop driving a stick. Kids these days have it so much easier. They don't even have to parallel park for the driver's test anymore. Oh...you heard that right! The hardest most stressful part of the test is gone. Which might be one of the reasons I'm even more stressed as the parent of a kid with a permit than I was as the kid who needed to parallel park a standard car on a test.
Because every drive ends with parking.
So, it's pretty freaking important...
which might be why I'm freaking out.
Unless that's because my next kid turns 15 in 3 months.