Saturday, October 17, 2009

" Drivers Education, In the Beginning "

My daughter Katie will be 15 years old this December. As with most teens in this age group their thoughts are overcome with driving.

Driving , driving , driving. It's all that I have heard for the past year. And while she has not yet received her drivers permit , my husband and I feel strongly about her having plenty of experience behind the wheel before we let her loose on the streets.
Your Welcome !

In the beginning Jake and I had a plan. I would teach our son to drive then he would teach our older daughter to drive and then it would be my turn again with Katie. My husband is only home about four days a month so most of her experience would have to be with mom.

My son was pretty easy to teach. I think that the male teen population have one up on the girls . I do believe that teen girls have their heads in the clouds so to speak.
The only incident that I had with my son was when he ignored the stop sign in the mall parking lot where we almost hit another moving vehicle and I thought I was going to die. Other then that he did good !

When my husband was instructing our older daughter, he told me of the first moment that he had ever heard her cuss. He was telling her which way to go on a road , when she noticed that he was having her drive on the entrance ramp to the highway , she yelled " You bastard " ! It was to late by then. She had to learn how to merge .

My daughter-in-law being the sweet and brave person that she is, decided to let Katie drive her Trailblazer down a country road two weeks ago. And while I was told that she only had to grab the wheel once or twice , I was still VERY apprehensive about letting her drive my much beloved little Ford Focus station wagon. A car that I had wanted very badly and finally got.

That's what started the DAILY " When are you going to take me driving ?" question.
I knew that it was coming. And I knew that it would be soon. So last Sunday after church let out , I decided to see if she could handle the prized little wagon.

There are a lot of country roads that surround the church so when I got to the parking lot exit, I put my wagon in park and got out of the car . Oh my Katie was so excited. Oh her mother was so nervous. Not a good combination.

After she got buckled in, adjusted the seat and mirrors , asked if she should put her foot on the brake before putting the car in drive , off we went . Almost into the ditch ! After I realized that it would be a better idea for us to start out in an empty parking lot so that she could get a better feel for the car, I quickly said " That's it your done.".

After that close call , we both agreed that it would be better to wait for an empty parking lot day. So today since I had a little bit of work to do in the office at church , my husband , being the sweet, sweet man that he is , agreed to give our girl a little practice behind the wheel. Better him than me I say !

And here they are, heading towards my prized little wagon ! I know that you can't tell by the photo , but Katie is walking rather swiftly !

Entering the car where all of the necessary
adjustments will be made before take off!

An excited Katie making her adjustments.
A very cool husband !

Well she backed out pretty good !
Now the maneuvers start.

They practiced for thirty minutes.
She's doing good .
I am still glad that Jake is with her, he is a great instructor.
Me , not so much !

Lesson over . Car in one piece . Happy teen . Good father .
Relaxed mother .
A good combination .


Sniffles and Smiles said...

Dearest Di, Ahhh, thanks for the glimpse of things to come...My son is 14! And so I have this to look forward to, yet! You have such a terrific sense of humor which enables you to tackle any of life's hurdles with grace and style! Thanks for stopping by, for all your kindnesses to me, for your love and support, and for being such a wonderful friend!! Words cannot fully express my gratitude!! Love to you~ Janine Xo

Diana said...

I'm so happy to see you back Janine! I am hoping that things are alright with you. I will take your being here as a good sign!
As for the driving thing, I hope that you have more patience than I do! I will pray for you!
Love Di

Lisa said...

God bless you, Di! I so empathize! Even though our boys have all started driving our beat up truck on our empty prairie acreage when they're about 14 -- when it comes to trusting them with MY car on real roads... the praying (and, um, nagging...) starts!

Gail said...


My prayers are with you and your husband and Katie. Oh how I remember teaching my kids to drive - and I taught them all how to drive standard shift - oh bless you, bless you all. :-)

Love Gail

Ginnie said...

You and your husband have a lot of guts to do the teaching. I left it up to the experts and then had each kid give me a ride...AFTER they got their licenses !

Anvilcloud said...

The parking lot is the only place to start. I wonder how many first lessons have been abandoned on favour of the good, old parking lot.

Wanda..... said...

Good luck Diana...
When my now DIL was just my youngest son's girlfriend, she learned to drive in our field...Big as it is she still managed to hit the fence, but at least it kept her from going over the hill! Have fun!!!

Luv and Smiles,

Tranquility Speaks said...

All your fears seem justified and I can also understand the eagerness to get behind the wheel :-) One day she will learn how to drive very very smoothly don't worry :) Have a nice Weekend :)

Rebecca said...

"Happy teen. Good father.
Relaxed mother." What a great formula!

Praying for safety and good judgment to follow Katie all the days of her driving life :)

Jackie said...

Di...I was so glad to see the title of your post...and couldn't WAIT to get into it and read.
I remember the 'driving lessons' ones....and the potential embarrassement with the fluffy slippers.
I just LOVE the way you write.
I'm proud of Katie!!!...and of Jake (good on ya, Jake! Good driving instructor)....and you, too, Di....letting her use your care. You are The MOM of the YEAR!
I love your blog....I love you!
You do make me smile, my friend.

Bernie said...

Sunday's lesson had me chuckling, today's day I felt proud for all of you.
Good Luck my friend, I found the parking lot a fantastic spot to start my kids out driving....but only when it was empty. Luv ya..Hugs

Diana said...

Hi Lisa,
Having acreage for Katie to practice would be ideal! We live in town now so parking lots are our friends now! I don't believe she will be driving on the streets until she gets her permit, we have a few months for that! Whew!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Gail,
You are brave,I haven't driven a standard shift in 34 years! My kids can though, not Katie but the other two. Hope your knee is getting better! Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Ginnie,
My husband is a professional driver. So I know that his instruction will be very good! Me, I'm too scared!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi AC,
Yes I like the parking lot idea very much ! This is scary.
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Wanda,
Thanks for wishing us luck. That first incident at church was quite scary! Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Tranquility,
Time is just moving to quickly. Katie is just growing up to fast, it's hard to deal with that!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Rebecca,
Your prayers are much appreciated! I have a little cross hanging from my rear view mirror that I hold onto while I pray. I will be using that during lessons!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Jackie,
Mom of the year, I don't know. I have been holding the use of my car over her when she gets too snotty with me!
Love Di

Diana said...

Oh Bernie, I had such a hard time working in church while she was driving! I kept running back and forth through the church to spy! She did pretty good, and even parked!
Feel better Bernie!
Love Di

Blessings each day said...

Boy you sure miss alot being off the computer for two days!

Loved your story, Di and it only seems like yesterday (but it's two years now) that I got chosen to teach my step daughter who is VERY nervous and scared, how to drive. Needless to say there were times when I became nervous and scared, but she's driving and doing well now...took her months to get on the Interstate without freaking though!

You are doing a super job and I will cheer for you!! Rah, rah go girl go, take your valium and on with the show!!

blessings and hugs,


Diana said...

Hi Marcy,
Actually it's xanax and I wish I had taken one that day!
Love Di

Dr.John said...

We were lucky all three of our kids had drivers education in school. They weren't allowed to touch our car until instructor certified them.

Diana said...

Hi Dr. John,
Katie also has instruction in school. I would just like her to know how to drive before that. Also in our state once the student gets their permit the student has to log 90 hours of behind the wheel experience with parent or guardian before they can get their drivers license!
Yes things have changed a bit! Please pray for me!
Love Di

Maria said...

Oh my Diana! I do so VERY VERY MUCH remember driver's ed. with me as instructor for my kids... I can still get the hair on my arms to stand up just thinking about it!

I was the quintessential basket case!
Empty parking lots were the best, but my knees were still knockin'

It's a milestone that is so special to our kids... but it does require patience and FAITH~
Keeping everyone's safety in my prayers :)
God bless!

Diana said...

Oh Thank you Maria. I am sure that you know that my ultimate goal is for Katie to be a good and safe driver. She is the last of my precious cargo so we much teach her well! Love Di

Pramoda Meduri said...

hey..u seem to be a good teacher..:)

yaa take care and do let her drive firstly on empty would be better..

cool pics too..:) we used to have right hand drive in india..:)

Terrie said...

Oh, I remember the days. My husband was also the teacher when it came to driving lessons. Normally, I'm the one with the patience but not when it came to the driving lessons. And, I agree with you, The boys seem to have an advantage over the girls. We actually didn't teach our son to drive, he just knew. (I found out several years later that he used to take his sister's car driving during school time before he ever got his permit...and it was a manual transmission. So, good luck to you or better yet, have your son take Katie driving so you don't have to stress over it. And, good luck to Katie.

Diana said...

Hi Prams,
Jake is the great teacher while I am the nervous teacher! But I must keep trying, very important!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Terrie!
I think that our son probably snuck in some driving himself! My Dil took Katie driving again today. She is much more relaxed about it than I am! God bless her!
Love Di

anupama said...

Dear Diana.
Namaste!India is celebrating the great festival,DIWALI,a festival of is the last day of five day celebrations.thanks a lot dear,for reading my posts n leaving comments.
Each time i read your posts,i can relate a lot to my own life experiences!i had plans to write about the driving classes i attended!
Lucky you are to makethe house a home and love prevails.let Katie get her license soon.
Diana,you have a beautiful smile n i like your positive attitude!;)
have a great day ahead,

Barb said...

Hi Di,
I remember these driving lesson days well - I think it's when my hair started to turn white! Good Luck to Katie - and her parents...

Jake is a Saint!

Diana said...

Hi Anu,
I really enjoyed reading about Diwali. It sounded special enough for it to go one for five days!
Thank you Anu for reading the driving story and your kind words!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Barb,
I knew it was going to happen soon. It's just that time seems to be flying by. Also I am so sick of hearing " Are you going to take me driving today?" every single day!
Love Di

Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

My Dad taught me to drive, I can still hear him in the Passenger seat all these years later telling me I am following too close or when to turn on the blinker.

Great Post Di, brought back some memories. Oh Congrats you did quite well with the Quiz at the blog and there is something waiting for you.

Unknown said...

OH MY GOSH BTDT (been there done that) and so happy I NEVER had to be in the car with any of our teens! 15????when did it change to 15? what about 16? she isn't even 15 YET! NO this is wrong, VERY WRONG, it is just not RIGHT to let a 15 year old behind the wheel! STOP MOTHER! STOP IT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE AND SHE IS DRIVING, THEN MARRIED THEN HAVING CHILDREN THEN GRANDCHILDREN STOP IT! But don't ask me how! and my word verification is (SWEAR!)

Diana said...

Hi Bill,
I am so excited, I really thought that Jake and I did pretty bad on the quiz. Thank you!
My first husband taught me to drive when I was 15. I did terrible. I hit two cars before I even got my license!
Love Di

Diana said...

Hi Linda!
Yes it is going by much too fast. She will be 15 in Dec. But still won't have her permit until next June. But the more experience the better. These years are flying by! Soon I will be "All By Myself", great now I have that song in my head! Love Di