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 experiences.........as 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 lot....it 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.