Thursday, July 31, 2008

Signal, Mirror, Mirror, Shoulder....

A milestone has been hit in our home. Last week, "Pippin" passed her drivers permit test. I don't know what the rules are in other states or even abroad so let me explain what this really means. For the next 6 months to 2 years she can practice driving a car and learning all types of road handling long as she has a licensed adult with her.

The Oregon DMV laws state that a teen can receive their permit at the ripe age of 15 years old. She will be 17 in just two short weeks so some would say that we are lagging behind with the times. It doesn't matter to me. She didn't want it until now because it represented more of a rush to grow up and she wasn't ready to do that.

I could be wrong, but I think it's a bit different teaching a girl to drive. When my boys were of age to receive their learners permit and subsequent license, I let them drive right out of the parking lot. Crazy huh? Honestly, because they both tinkered with engines and such from their very early days, they were ready for the road when the time came. My instruction was just a formality. My sweet girl handled things very differently though and I knew that without at least a few days of practice in a parking would simply never work.

That is just what we did. I started her out in a barren parking lot where she could get familiar with the art of brakes, steering, accelerator, and turn signals. Harnessing and controlling the power of a V6 engine was a daunting task for her but one she was willing to conquer. We turned every ending isle into a mock intersection as she practiced weaving up and down thru imaginary traffic. The next day she graduated to a half full lot and I made her drive where cars were pulling in and out and pedestrians were walking around. She was scared at first but swallowed and did it. She did so well that yesterday she moved out onto the local roads. The title of this post has become our chanting motto as she goes down the road and I have her practicing lane changes when no one is around.

I must say she is doing very well. She is aware that a lot of responsibility rests in her hands and is taking every bit of my advice to heart. Tomorrow I am taking her to Cannon Beach for a 2 week stay. She wants to drive part of the time but I am not so sure about that just yet.
Here is what is really funny. My "Rosie-girl", who will be 15 in October, is already studying for her test. She wants it bad. The time might come very soon when I will have two permitted learners to teach at the same time.

I am having fun though. I rather enjoy giving driving lessons. It is a thrill for me to teach them safe rules and watch their confidence build.


  1. when my kids learned to drive it was a tough time for's always the other guy you have to worry about and worry I did...I do much better now, but it did take me awhile before I would let them drive on the freeway. Much to my dismay my son wants a motorcycle and thankfully he won't get one without our blessing (only out of respect)yet another reason why I like to see gas prices going down so he doesn't feel like he NEEDS one. These kids all grow up way too fast, I'm glad to hear your daughter wasn't in a hurry, that is very precious in my eyes...

    have fun with the lessons ~

  2. That's part of being a worry about feel hurt sometimes.each one being watch them start to walk and the times that they would fall then came the peddel bikes and now you have them taking to the open road.all part of the nest getting to small for them.if you have love in the family home they will keep coming ask God about those books. love to you all.

  3. You're a brave one. I don't know that I would ever attempt to teach someone how to drive. When I learned it was an actual class in school!

  4. Joni...yes worrying about the others on the road is a big issue. Pip and I talk alot about what is going on next to her, around her, ahead and behind her. There are so many things that we, as experienced drivers, do without thinking about.
    That is so wonderful that your son respects you enough to not buy a motor bike without your approval. summed up well the art of parenting. We love them so dearly and it hurts to watch them grow. Yet we encourage them to step out and grow because we love them.

    Quilly...They do offer classes at the high school that students can take (for a fee) but they need more instruction and driving time than the class offers. My plan is for both girls to take the class together next spring. It is worth 50 hours of driving experience and will help to get a better insurance rate.

  5. By the way, it is raining here today (sweet wonderful refreshing rain). So, Pippin will not be driving today. Rain and highway is not a good learning combination.

  6. I'm praying for you. Nuff said?

  7. Yes!

    There was a moment of clarity to my past when I read your post. We were driving over to Jim's house after school one cloudy day, so bloody long ago, and I recall having a very detailed conversation with you about learning to drive versus teaching somone to drive. (ie. Why one parent WILL NOT teach, and the other reads a book while the student drives...) Clear as a bell, my friend!

    And suddenly it is all so real! This getting old stuff is challenging! yet it is awesome to see your children growing up marvelously well! I say this contemplating if Pippin is the more responsible one of your two girls, eh?

    I'm not indicating you should be nervous, however let me add only this: "I look forward to that blog post!"

  8. in my country one must attend driving school ad drive with a licensed instructor to get a driving license. and minimum age is 18.
    and we still have a lot of accidents...

  9. Sandi...thank you. It is always appreciated. friend my friend. I am smilnig and laughing. I often find myself .....sitting next to myself as I watch the girls. I think about what I was doing at their age adn now I AM The mom. Yes this growing up thing is an interesting shoe to wear.

    Polona...I think that having the driving age at 18 is a very good idea. There are so many on the road here that I see are not ready for the responsibility of driving such force. The idea of making driving school mandatory is also an excellent idea. I could be "flogged" for saying this but I think sometimes in America we have too much freedom. If we were to try and make instruction school mandatory, then some soap box person would prosecute just because of the idea that they were being forced to do something.


I love to hear from other. Your opinions and viewpoints are always a blessing and encourage other readers as well.