Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Middle Child qualified for her driver's permit on July 20th. That date coincided with a visit from the in-laws, so there was a full audience on hand for Middle Child's first attempt at driving. (The Mister's Pop opted out saying he would remain behind at the house, "... in case our student driver takes out the whole family." That may be prudence, or perhaps just just a lack of confidence.) The Mister's Mama and I drove over in the mom-mobile while the Mister, Perfect, and Middle Child piled into what will be the Kids' Car for the short trip to the high school parking lot.

The Mister has been looking forward to this as much as Middle Child has over the past weeks.
I parked away from where my baby girl was proudly climbing behind the wheel. (See it way over to Middle Child's right? There was no need to put the current mom-mobile in harm's way. Maybe it should have just stayed home with the Mister's Pop...) The MIL and I waved as the other vehicle slowly pulled away. Snapping a few photos, we observed the progress across the parking lot punctuated by brake lights and somewhat jerky acceleration. Whatever her initial technical ability, Middle Child was driving! There was an added degree of difficulty with other inexperienced drivers slowly cruising the school parking lot. Fortunately, none of them pushed the speedometer much over about 10 mph; though, 10 looks pretty fast when the first of one's children to drive is behind the wheel.

This particular rite of passage arrives at just the right time. It doesn't feel too soon, but neither does it seem like our girl was held back. The permit will allow over eighteen months of driving experience. This is her final week of the required forty-plus hours of classroom instruction, and the practice drive times are accumulating quickly with one or two a week with the Mister or I and one per week in the drivers' education car. The initial drive times have gone well, and Middle Child is shaping up to be a good driver. She takes instruction well, and she is generally careful without being frightened or overly cautious. In a blink she'll be chauffeuring the family around town.

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