1. My kid is a great driver. No, seriously. Granted, he has a parent sitting next to him in the front seat so it’s not like he’s gonna run three red lights on the way to school but still…he’s a good driver.
2. And yet here I am still freaking out.
3. Do you realize how many other human beings you encounter while driving even ten minutes down the road? Or on that half hour jaunt to a doctor’s appointment? It’s a lot.
4. And do you know how many of those human beings know you’ve got a kid with a learner’s permit behind the wheel? That yes, he’s extra cautious because there’s just so much to remember when you first start driving, but he will eventually change lanes/pull away from the light/go through the four way stop? None. None of them know that.
5. No, I haven’t seriously considered putting one of those “Student Driver. Please be patient.” window decals on the car since I’m certain T-man would spontaneously combust from the embarrassment.
6. Which leaves me sitting in the passenger seat frantically using mental telepathy to ping drivers around us: Slow down and let him merge. Let him merge. DAMMIT why won’t you LET HIM MERGE??
7. Let’s see if I can come up with an SAT worthy analogy for this now. Traffic Around Town : Acid Indigestion as Interstate Traffic : Massive Heart Attack Followed By A Quadruple Bypass.
8. First there’s getting onto the interstate, a task that didn’t seem nearly so complex before I was sitting across the car from the brake and gas pedals. Okay, speed up to about fifty. No, don’t worry about hitting sixty-five, not yet, just get it straight and steady at fifty. Got it? Start looking in your mirrors. What’s coming up behind you? Is there a space? Or a space coming soon? How long ’til it’s here? Are you running out of lane yet? Glance forward, glance back…ease up on the gas just a little…just a little…THERE’S A SPACE, GET OVER AND GUN IT.
9. Then there’s the trucks. Lawd almighty, the eighteen wheelers barreling down the interstate like a 40,000 pound bat out of hell. Those are scarier than a wood spider scurrying across your lake towel, but you know what’s even scarier? When there’s one in the far right lane so your kid’s passing it when out of nowhere another ginormous truck rumbles by on the left, pinning us between two towering boxes of death.
10. It was weird. A week after T-man started driving I noticed my muscles were sore – my neck, my shoulders – all achy and stuff when I wasn’t even going to the gym. That’s when I realized tensing everything internally while maintaining my completely composed you’ve got this exterior was stressing out my muscles. Call it the latest workout trend: Need to tone up? Teach a teen how to drive.