Today was one of those rites of passage sort of days in the life of a parent. I took my babies down to the DMV so they could test for their learner’s permits. They would be mortified to know I still call them “my babies” but that’s how old they looked while they were sitting in the chairs waiting for the state government to declare them eligible to drive large machinery on the road alongside thousands of other cars that recklessly exceed the speed limit and might possibly cause them harm.
BABIES, I tell you.
As joyful as the occasion was, there were, admittedly, moments of genuine sadness. It happens on the big days when only two of the boys get to do fun things and I so desperately wish it were three. I’ve learned that it’s not healthy to stuff the feelings (I’ll just have to deal with them later) so I allowed myself a few minutes to privately grieve and fully acknowledge the disappointment but, mercifully, Travis wasn’t upset about what was happening and didn’t ask when it would be his turn so the fact that I didn’t have to make any explanation made it easier than it could have been.
And that is truly grace, friends.
JJ was studying like a fiend (he’s been reading the NC Driver’s handbook daily since his grandmother gave it to him for his birthday) and bemoaning a blemish on his face for his driver’s license picture (he is his mother’s son). Tommy borrowed J’s book for about 10 minutes before they called his number and, wouldn’t you know it, Tommy passed and JJ missed by one single question.
I might have been secretly relieved to have only one kid pass because I’d spent the hour and a half waiting time trying to figure out how I’d decide who got to drive us home. Had I known the outcome, I would’ve spent the time gathering my nerves. Once we got outside, I tried to delay the inevitable by volunteering to back the car out of the parking space and then let Tommy take over but he said he could back out just fine so I took a deep breath and handed over the keys and silently said both a prayer for protection and one of thanksgiving that we parked in the handicapped spot and there was plenty of room on either side of us.
My goal was to get home without involving anyone’s insurance company so with two possible ways to go, I took the one less traveled by hoping it would make all the difference, Robert Frost, but failed to notice that we had spent so long in the DMV that it was now the beginning of rush hour and the road I chose because it was a single lane, quieter route was now full of commuters anxious to get home and all trailing behind one VERY NERVOUS 16 YEAR OLD who was strictly observing the posted speed limit.
I only gripped the “oh !$#^@” handle and stomped on the imaginary brake twice on the fifteen minute drive (felt like three hours) and slightly corrected the steering wheel once so for a first outing, not bad.
And my legs only shook for 10 minutes after we got home.
The nerves? Well, they’re still a little jangly and are going to take a little longer to simmer down. Maybe they’ll be better tomorrow when we go back and get to do this all over again.
Have a nice day.