Friday, May 20, 2005

behind the wheel

After nearly 4 months of behind the wheel time, Ben got his driver’s license yesterday.

It has been our family policy since our first child drove….. we do not allow our children to have a license until they turn 18. Of course they have all complained and appealed and cajoled and bargained but to no avail. Some people think this is cruel. We think it is wise. By the way, it is those same people who think we are cruel for not having our children in public high school where they miss prom. I rest my case.

So since February, Ben has been driving everywhere with a responsible adult, and sometimes his mother, and a learning permit. We have been in and out and around Peoria too many times to mention, too many miles and gallons of gasoline to count, too many intersections to navigate.

He has done a great job and so yesterday morning I told him that when he was finished with his schoolwork, we had an errand to run. And I announced that we were getting the license because I knew it was time since I was no longer clutching the door handle when he turned from War Memorial Drive on to University Street.

Now I have someone to run to Wal-mart for toilet paper and shampoo and milk when the needs arise. This makes me happy, as does the fact that we now drive the only car we have ever owned that has air bags. It also makes me happy that I believe in God's sovereignty.

I took driver's ed and behind the wheel when I was in high school. My instructor was Mr. Grebe, who was, at the time, about 108 years old. My driving partner was Bruce who is now in prison. The driver's ed car had an extra brake on the front passenger side and Mr. Grebe showed it to us and told us he didn't want to have to use it.

One day while I was in the back seat and Bruce was driving, it seemed like we were moving awfully fast. I peered over the seat and saw that we were going 90. And Mr. Grebe had fallen asleep. I started coughing frantically so he would wake up, though I suddenly thought of that brake. Thankfully, he did wake up and said, "Bruce, I think you need to take it down a little." He did not use the brake.

I didn't think I would survive driver's ed to have my own child behind the wheel but I did.


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