White Knuckles

“Stop…Stop. STOP!”

I credit myself for achieving at least a little coherency and for not yelling until the third “stop.” Yes, my oldest has her driving permit as well as an evident challenge in the area of determining the difference between two-way and four-way stops.

Though DD1 successfully acquired her permit on July 27th, she had to wait a bit to get any significant practice since she left town that day to spend some time with her grandparents. My dad did venture out to a local parking lot with her, but my mother seems a bit reluctant to turn over the keys. I’m sure it couldn’t have anything to do with the time I, myself, drove her station wagon into a ditch during my learner’s permit days.

While DD1 spent time gallivanting around Texas, visiting relatives and friends from camp, Adventure and I spent our time doing something that made her even more happy on her return. After a lot of shopping around at both car lots and online, we settled on what I hope is the perfect first car–a 2003 Mazda Tribute. Big enough to provide a good view of the road, great safety ratings, reasonable price.

Why did we choose to become the proud owners of a new car prior to DD1’s 16th birthday? Since Adventure Guy drives a car with standard transmission, and my boat of a Suburban doesn’t make for easy navigation, we decided to go ahead and buy so that she could practice more effectively. The upside? DD1 is absolutely thrilled. The downside? I’ve found myself in the passenger seat on numerous occasions in the past two days.

And, I must say, it’s incredibly nerve wracking. The merging, the turning left, and, yes, the stop signs. I keep wondering how on earth people who teach driver’s ed don’t suffer massive cardiac arrest on a regular basis. I’m just glad she’s had driver’s ed before I had to ride with her. Objectively, I can tell she’s doing really well. I just hope the driver in the car we almost sideswiped on a recent left turn thinks the same thing.

Next up? Driving at night. I believe I’m going to let Adventure Guy live up to his name for that one.



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