Friday, March 30th – I took the afternoon off to take my daughter to get her learner’s permit.  We drove down to the DriveSafe in Brantford only to find out that my daughter didn’t bring a Birth Certificate.  This was the chosen moment that my daughter informed me that our dog – OUR DECEASED DOG – ate her Birth Certificate over 7 months ago.  Great….we returned home.

Being the forward thinking mama that I am, I recalled ordering a pocket-sized Birth Certificate when she was born.

“Now where is that Birth Certificate? We set out to get her Learner’s and Gosh Darn it, I’m going to find that non-laminated piece of paper!”, I thought to myself.

Upon our arrival, luck was on our side, I found it!!  I giggled at myself as I was just as excited as she was to see her achieve this monumental milestone in life.

We then decided to head to Guelph as I had a meeting with a Oprah Lifeclass Ticket at 4:30 pm.  I took the back roads knowing that we could make it and get to Guelph Line on time.

“I want Christina to have her Learner’s Permit.   She wants to drive.”, I said silently to myself.

We arrived in Guelph and she stood in the long line to apply and pay for her test.   I left to go get my ticket!  Upon my return, I seen that sweet smile running towards the car!  She Got It!  That’s my girl.  We went inside to get her permit and she asked to drive.  I informed her that since she has only driven in parking lots, Friday night in Guelph was probably not the best idea.

Once we arrived in the back roads, I parked the car and said, “Ok, let’s do it!”

Talk about a girl unbuckling her seatbeat and getting out of the car quickly!  

Christina put the car in drive and cautiously moved ahead.  My hard work and effort of living a stress free life ended at that very moment.

Oops, Christina, check your blind spot.
Oops, Christina, you need to slow down.
Oops, Christina, you flicked right instead of left!
CHRISTINA – Why brake so hard?
CHRISTINA – Slow Down!!!
Why is my heart pounding so hard?
Where is that holy crap bar?????

The past twenty-five years flashed before me.  I suddenly remembered my first trip behind the wheel. So many things to remember, and not enough experience to be instinctive.  What a mistake I made!  We took the last turn into our street and my nails were permanently dug into the bar above my shoulder.

Never again………never again until she gets proper training.  How silly was I?

Why did I expect her to instinctively know all of these key components of driving?  A book describes, actions are much different.

My husband arrived home and gave her a congratulatory kiss.  He promised he’d take her out before dark to drive to Paris.   He kept his promise alright.

I was speaking on the phone to my mother when a beep came in.  I told her that it was my husband and I had to go.  I said hello and this is what I heard.

“You let her drive home from Guelph????  Are you crazy??? Have you lost your head???  She just ruined the tire and rim on my car! She can’t drive!”, my husband was literally crying?!?!?!

I will downplay my response as I don’t like to write what I curse.  I ordered him to calm down explaining that he will scare her so badly that she will never want to drive again.

I left the house immediately to take the car lifter thingy to them.  Sure enough, Christina was in the car crying and saying that she’s never driving again.  She got in the car with me but sat in the back seat.  O.K, I thought, time for some mama cheer-leading time.

It was a great lesson learned for all of us.   We cannot expect our new drivers to know all of the small components of driving.

We must remember all of the little things it takes to turn a corner, avoid a curb, and keep up with traffic safely.  Thank God, Christina only hit a curb while turning a corner.  We were only out $200.00 for a new tire and rim, and everyone was safe.

We have decided to leave the driving to the pros at Young Drivers of Canada.  As parents, we’ll be there for her along the way.

Right now, she drives to the babysitter and back…..which is exactly two turns, one stop sign, and a spit’s throw from home.

Despite all of the hurdles, we laugh at our misgivings.  I still love you Christina and I’m still so proud….but you’re not driving my Mazda 5.

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