Yesterday was a great day for Christian young people as they celebrated “See you at the pole”; an event where high school students gather around the flagpole at their school to pray. Sadly, Caleb couldn’t make it to this event because Caleb was getting his driver’s license. Of course, I can assure you that there was no lack of prayer going up from Steve and me.
Caleb turned 16 on September 15th and has been on pins and needles to get his license ever since. His dad and I have been, too. <Whew>.
I guess it’s stressful with every child who turns 16 and is licensed to drive alone for the first time. Steve asked me yesterday, “Were we this nervous when Wes got his license?” I gave him a resounding “YES WE WERE.” But that was 7 years ago. It all came pouring back in on me yesterday.
Caleb at the DMV
(I forced him to take this picture.)
All the way to the DMV, Steve and I were giving Caleb tips about his driving, the driving test, etc., and Caleb consistently responded, “I know! Gah.” The only thing Caleb seemed to be nervous about regarding the driving test was making sure that he drove at “10 and 2” and making sure he did the “hand over hand” turns. Like most drivers, once he got his driver’s permit, the “10 and 2” and “hand over hand turns” went out the window. But if he failed this test…he was going to be toast. He would never live it down.
Not long after we arrived at the DMV and I got what I came for (the pictures), we went inside. Making an appointment is the ticket; they checked him right in and shortly thereafter, out the door he went with the officer who would administer his driving test. Caleb gave us the following story; he said he got in the car, buckled up, checked his mirrors, started the car, put it in drive, placed his hands at 10 and 2 and started driving. As he started out of the parking lot, he initiated his first hand over hand turn and immediately, the officer says, “You don’t have to do that 10 and 2 and hand over hand crap. I know you don’t really drive that way.” Lol! Talk about an ice breaker. 🙂
When the test was over, Caleb was told he passed with flying colors and all that was left was the smiling. He got his picture snapped and received his temporary license (they have to be mailed now…so much has changed!) until his real license arrives.
He really hates that I take so many pictures….but my people expect it. I must take pictures…
So this morning was Caleb’s first day driving to school alone. Before he left, I reminded him that he has one job – get from point A to point B safely. “I know this, Mom.” “Well, it’s my job to remind you again and again and again…” (just ask Wesley). As he started out the driveway, I watched and prayed over him again. As he drove away, my anxiety was over. I felt a true peace come over me. And, a stark reminder that Caleb is growing up. He’s a young man now and I believe we can trust him to be responsible. Please Lord, let it be so. Because if he’s not responsible, well, just ask his older brother…
When Wes got his license in 2005, we got him a 1999 Nissan Pathfinder. I’ll be honest, it was more than we intended to get for him at 16, but he begged and we conceded. Well, we conceded with the following warning: “IF you get any violations; speeding tickets, stoplight violations, accidents, etc., we WILL sell your car. Got it?” He said he got it.
Several months later, Steve and I went to the mountains for our anniversary. Wes knew I would take my Bible and Wes knew I would read my devotions in the mornings while I was gone. One morning during our trip, I got my Bible out to read my devotions, and there was an envelope marked “Mom and Dad” in my Bible. Hmmm? Maybe an anniversary card from Wes? Aww, what a sweet boy. I opened the envelope and it was a note alright, but it was accompanied by a pink slip of paper. A speeding ticket with Wesley’s name on it to be exact. The note from Wes explained that he, knowing we would be furious over the ticket, thought it best to put said ticket in my Bible hoping that I might not be so mad if I found said ticket while reading my devotions…???
Honestly, I just had to laugh. Steve and I both laughed about that all weekend. Steve and I also put Wes’s Pathfinder up for sale the following Monday and within a week it was GONE. Wes learned that, in this case, we said what we meant and we meant what we said. Wes drove a 1995 Honda Civic for the next 4-5 years and I believe it helped him to appreciate the privilege he had to be driving a vehicle as well as the responsibility required to do so.
Now, I sure hope I don’t have to post a 2001 Toyota Tacoma on Facebook for sale….:)