A First Driving Lesson

February 8, 2012

I gave my daughter her first driving lesson today.  Well, okay, my wife gave her a lesson in a parking lot a while back.  But today we went on The Road.  Now I should explain that my wife and I both drive cars with manual transmissions, so by default the poor kid is learning how to drive AND how to drive a stick shift.

And she did great.  Really.  I mean, yeah, she stalled a couple of times.  A few times.  Several times.  And she had some difficulty remembering which gear she was in.  Stop signs and turns gave her a little trouble once or twice.  But we live in a sleepy little subdivision and she managed to do several loops around the neighborhood without hitting anything or anyone, and without giving her father a coronary.  I also have to say that she was surprised at how calm I remained throughout the entire ordeal lesson.  I’m not always like that.  Calm, I mean.  Particularly under circumstances that lie just barely beyond my control.  And that really is the hardest part of this.  The things that clearly lie WAY beyond my control are easy.  But the temptation to reach out and grab the steering wheel, or throw the car into the next gear down or up — that was a little hard to deal with.  I managed it, though.  I was fine today, and so was she.  We actually spent more time laughing than anything else.

So there it is.  Another rite of passage, another milestone.  This past Monday we did our first college visit together.  She’s growing up so quickly.  If she wasn’t developing into such an outstanding human being, it would be pretty scary…

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