"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I'M JUST NOT READY FOR DRIVER'S ED...

And I probably never will be.

Frankly, after last night's initial driver's ed meeting (mandatory for students and parents), I truly see no reason why Daniel needs to get his driver's license until he's at least, oh, I dunno....say, 110...

I figure I should be long gone by then...hence, whatever happens -- if he's in a horrible wreck and mangled beyond recognition -- or worse -- I'll (hopefully) already be pushing up posts in the Big Blog Above, oblivious to the whole heartbreaking mess.

Like lambs to the slaughter, lemmings to the sea...that's how I see last night's driver's ed sign-up -- kids -- mere babies, really -- anxious as all get out to jump behind that wheel and speed down the highway of life, one hand on the steering wheel, the other hand on their cell phones, texting themselves right into the nearby ditch or oncoming traffic...

I think it was the video featuring the still grieving couple who lost not one but TWO teenage daughters in separate yet equally horrifying car accidents that did me in last night...why does any parent in their right mind let their kid(s) learn how to drive?

Oh, that's right. So they can get from Point A to Point B and beyond, run errands, go on fun vacations, go to work, and someday, drive to the nursing home to visit their befuddled old parents. THAT'S why they have to learn to drive. It's all about growing up and independence, blah, blah, blah -- I get it, I get it.

But I don't like it. Not one little bit.

Never mind that MY driver's ed instructor (as urban legend has it) drank coffee secretly laced with Irish whiskey during my driving lessons, his clandestine coffee cup stashed up on the dash as an instant indicator of how how sharply I was making my turns. If the coffee cup slid at all, as I recall, I got reprimanded for taking the corner to short or too fast....and just for fun, he'd instruct me to turn right or left...in Spanish.

And, gee-whiz, I turned out to be a great, er, OK driver. Save for the time my senior year when the breaks gave out on my good ol' '65 Ford Galaxy 500 convertible and I plowed through a fence...and the time I was changing lanes in my little ol' 1982 Chevette and totally spaced off that I was driving down a one-way street, neglected to check the other lane before changing, and bashed into the giant-boat-of-a-car zipping along right next to me...

On a serious note, however, I can still, to this day, remember exactly where I was the night of Oct. 28, 1972 -- the night my friend, Janice, a college freshman, was killed when a driver ran a stop sign and broadsided Janice's car...I can still hear the anguished, mournful sobs of Janice's mom when it came time to leave her daughter's coffin at the cemetery after the funeral. "I don't want to leave her!" she cried. And cried. And cried.

Like the lady from the Iowa Department of Transportation said, if you watch the news, or read the newspaper, you know teenage traffic tragedies occur on a regular basis.

Speeding, texting, drinking, other distractions...such perplexing possibilities are endless...

Oy.

That's it. I can't think about it anymore. I'll think about it tomorrow...at Tara.

Frankly, my dears, I think I need a damn Xanax.

2 comments:

trish said...

Annie, After teaching 3 kids to drive I feel your pain. I felt the same way with the first one. Watched him drive down the street on his own for the first time and prayed to God to protect my baby.
When the third one got her license I did the happy dance at the license bureau. No more running anyone all over town....EVER!!!! WOOHOO!!

annie said...

Hey Trishy!

I know...the first driver is always the toughest...he starts driver's ed tomorrow...

Geeze, where does the time go, darlin?

And how's Mark????

Been thinkin' 'bout ya....