Knuckles white and holding on tight. Seat belt securely fastened. Airbags on. Imaginary brake under my right foot. A white flag ready to wave at a moments notice. I have my ecclesiastical leader on speed dial and I sit wishing I was a crash test dummy that could not see or feel pain. I am as ready as I'll ever be for my teenager to take the wheel. Yes, Carrie Underwood, I too wish it was Jesus.
In the state of Nevada, at the age of 151/2, a teen can take a 50 question test to receive their learners permit. They can miss up to 10 questions. Even if one of the questions missed was "what does a red light mean?", they still get their permit. That's it. They can then drive a 2 ton vehicle WITH NO DRIVING EXPERIENCE. AT. ALL. They return to the DMV 6 months later with a mandatory 50 hours of driving under their belt to get their license. What? Who is supposed to teach them? Unless you want to pay a driving school to be in the car with them 24/7, it is all on the shoulders of the parents.
In our house we are on our 3rd teenage driver. You would think I would be used to it by now. It would be like getting used to Stevie Wonder as your chauffeur. Yes, we have survived our teen drivers without major incident. If you call a speeding ticket, for doing 90 on the freeway while also following too close, a minor infraction.
When the car keys come out, 15 1/2 year old Sassy is worse than the dog when he sees his leash.
Can I drive?
It's too sunny.
There are ducks in the road.
It's too dark.
I am in a hurry. (I am allowed to speed, she is not)
So we have about 2 hours down and 48 to go and I am running out of excuses. I use the word "we" liberally. The father figure has no problem sitting in the passenger seat, reading the newspaper while the teenager takes to the road. So he is the yin to the drivers yang. He plays good cop and I am cop screaming and stressed out . The bad news is we have 3 more drivers to go, the good news is, by the time our last one is 16, I will be too old and desensitized to care.