Monday, May 10, 2010

Practice makes perfect

Our 16 year old daughter wanted me to take her driving, but everytime she wanted to go, I always had something to do or somewhere to go. Finally, we agreed that we would go on Saturday. I told her that I was taking her to practice driving and that she had to get up early so we can do what we needed to do and then get back home because I had a wedding to attend later in the day.

Saturday morning came and I was up at 6:00 a.m. I woke up 16 year old and told her that we needed to get the day started. She looked up at the clock and said, "Mom, do you know it's 6:00 in the morning?" I assured her that I knew exactly what time it was and that we needed to get a move on if we were going driving. She said that she expected us to at least go around 11:00. I told her that by that time, I would already be back home. So off we go to this big empty parking lot with stop signs, yield signs, and a pedestrian crosswalk.

Once we arrived, I got from behind the driver's seat and told her we should switch places. She was so scared and we sat and talked for a moment and I told her that just because it's a parking lot doesn't mean that she can be wild everywhere and that she has to remember she is in practice in order to get out on the highway. I told her that the vehicle is not a toy and that once she is on the real road, she is putting everybody lives in danger if she don't pay attention to what she is doing. I asked if she was scared, she said she was. We waited. I told her to gain composure and then to put the car in drive. Bless her little heart, she put the car in drive but would not take her foot off that brake for nothing. I calmly told her that she can't ride the brake and that she need to give it just a smidgen of gas. And when she did, it's like my truck went from zero to 50 in a matter of seconds.  That shook her up and she said she didn't want to drive anymore. I told her that she can't give up and then I went into the mama speech.

I told her how the choir at church sounds so lovely on Sunday morning, they had to practice first. I told her of people knowing how to type, they had to practice first. I mentioned how babies start walking, they hold on to a chair or a table or something, and just get back up and keep trying and I just kept going through scenarios about that. I told her that driving is the same way. When my maternal grandmother was living, she would tell my uncle that when he was pretending to be a preacher that he needed to get on the rooftop to practice but when he get in the pulpit, ain't no time for practicing and playing, it's time to be for real. Well he is a preacher today. Our daughter said that she understood but asked if she took her foot off the brake, can she go at two miles per hour. We followed the rules of the road in the parking lot. When we came to a stop sign, she had to stop and use her turn signals. And we did that for about an hour and a half. By the end of our driving session, she was up to five miles per hour and she said that it still scared her.

I told her to just remember to keep practicing and she'll be doing it in no time. She can learn how to drive, but I just refuse to be carless. My sister asked me what if our daughter need to go somewhere. My reply was that we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, but for now, that bridge is still being built and we still made it home before 11:00.

Lovingly yours,


  1. I'm so pleased I don't have to do that ( learn to drive that is) I can remember those first few times...very nervewracking. You are such a good mum taking her and being patient. x

  2. My son has had his permit for six months now - and although he has his moments for the most part he is still extremely cautious - I count that as a blessing. She'll get there as long as she's got her mom guiding her patiently.

  3. I've started the driving lessons and understand completely why you choose EMPTY parking lots. LOL!