Monday, April 27, 2009

Driving me to drink!




Okay, the title of this post isn't entirely accurate, but it's close. LOL This weekend my oldest got her temps. She's been practicing on the back roads some with her dad and she's slowly getting the hang of it. Sunday, after church, we let her drive us part of the way home. She started closer to town, more traffic. By the time we got home my heart was in my throat and I was simply beside myself with fear. No, she didn't do anything crazy or wild. She did very well and she's taking this very seriously. She listen's to her dad's instructions and keeps both hands on the wheel and her eyes on the road.


The thing is, it wasn't her driving that made me want to lock her in her room. It was the fact that soon my baby will be out there driving. She'll be on the road with everyone else and dad won't be beside her, ready to grab the wheel in case something goes wrong. I guess it hit me all at once. It was all I could do to make it to the bedroom before I broke down. I didn't want her to see me upset.


No one is more aware than me that this is one of those parent issues that I know I'll have to come to terms with. Whether I like it or not, she's going to be driving soon and I'm going to have to have faith that she'll be okay. That she's smart enough to drive safely. That we raised her to use her brain. I guess it didn't help that right when we got home I checked my email and saw a traffic alert that a major highway was closed due to a bad accident. All I could think was someday Kati will be out there.


I guess my question to you all is, how do you get through it? What helped you deal with this type of fear? I'm trying to think positive. I've prayed about it. I'm reminding myself that she's a smart girl. I'm aware that I can't control everything. But I'm still just terrified. Help!




24 comments:

Rhonda said...

Anne, I feel for you since I will be going through the same thing with my son this summer. I know I shouldn't feel the way that I do, but I keep praying the will change the law that they have to be 17 or 18 before they can get their license (not fair of me, but I don't want my baby out there!

Chris R said...

Okay I have recently gone through this twice. My kids are now 18 and 17. The only way to do this is go with her. Have her drive you to the store and back. Make up reasons for her to get plenty of practice. Only with plenty of practice will she get confidence and only by going with her as the responisble adult will you get enough confidence in her ablility to handle things will you be able to calm down. It works I promise. Just got to remember not to yell, stomp on the imanginary brake or scare them when they are driving. LOL

Molly Daniels said...

I didn't have that problem with my son; he's been driving since he was 12.

I'll probably panic when daughter starts driving this year; she'll go through driver's Ed next fall.

Carly Carson said...

Say hello to terror. lol. And staying up late at night waiting for her to come home. And moments like this one: My dd with 1 month old license had to drive about 2 1/2 hours away. I made her follow me (in different car) and had her younger sister travel with her. We followed the speed limit, which meant we created our own moving traffic jam on this normally lightly traveled highway. When we arrived, the 2 girls said, "Oh we had a blast! We sang along to the radio at the top of our lungs and waved at all the truckers."

Ack! I nearly died. Was that why we had a traffic jam? Add that behavior to my list of worries.

Carly

Anny Cook said...

Hmmmm. Well first of all, just because the law says it all right doesn't mean you have to do it. None of my kids got a license until they were eighteen or older--because their dad and I decided that was the way we wanted it. (I didn't have a license until I was twenty-three with three kids!) And second, you'll never quit worrying--not even when they're married, in the Navy, moved across the country, have three kids of their own... you don't stop having that little anxiety at the back of your neck.

My son lives in Mena, AR where they recently had a very bad tornado that ripped up the town. He lives in a mobile home. And yeah, I worried until he called. And he's not sixteen--he's thirty-eight.

But if you're going to let the kid drive at sixteen, then Chris R's advice is really, really good. Both of you will have more confidence. Good luck.

Anne Rainey said...

Rhonda--exactly what my mother said! After four kids she's always felt the driving age was too young. She still feels that 18 years old should be the law. I never understood her feelings until now. Driving is a BIG responsibility. It really is life and death.

Anne Rainey said...

Chris--VERY good advice. My husband has been driving since he was 7yrs. old. No lie. His dad used to have him sit on his lap and steer. Once he got tall enough he did more than steer. He's been on tractors, motorcycles, semi trucks...you name it and he can drive it. He's mega patient with Kati and she feels very comfortable learning from him. I get very stressed and I don't want it to distract her. But, I can see I need to get in the car with her more so that I can start to feel comfortable about this...at least to some degree.

Anne Rainey said...

Carly--oh lordy. I can just see that! AND your white-faced expression! LOL

Anne Rainey said...

Anny--Yeah, parents worry no matter what. Every blasted time I drop her at a friend's house to spend the night, or leave her at school for the day, I worry. I do understand that it's all part of the territory.

And I agree, Chris has great advice there! :)

Kelley Nyrae said...

Hugs, Anne. I don't know exactly how you feel because I haven't been there yet. I'll be in the same boat in a few years and coming to you for advice. LOL.

Regina Carlysle said...

I've been through this twice now and I'm the queen of stomping the imaginary BRAKE! Mine both went through mandatory drivers training and I rode with both of them when they began this. The scariest thing is when they left the house in a car for the first time without me or my husband with them. On pins and NEEDLES. You think you won't survive the worry but you will. It's a rite of passage they (and US) have to go through.

Anne Rainey said...

Kelley--I'm seeing this as one of those things we all have to deal with regardless. Like when they go to kindergarten for the first time. Ugh!

Regina--Oh shit. I hadn't even thought of the first time she leaves the house alone. Yeah, that's going to be a reall sucky day. :(

Inamohde said...

Hi Anne,

I am a new reader of your Three Wicked Writers and I am loving this blog with each day.

I have 2 older boys and 2 younger girls, the first 3 in their 20s. So, the driving madness is one of the phase that I had to go through with lots of trepidation and so much of money spent.

At the end of the day, you just have to give them some credit that whatever education they got from us - her parents and from her school is able to provide them with the best ability to weigh a situation, therefore make them a better driver.

After all, didn't our mothers went through the same debilitating moments about us being on the road?

Mary Ricksen said...

Trust your child, that's all you can do.
We survived it, and I never drove dangerously, but I do think that watching her until you feel confident will help you feel more relaxed about it all.

Anne Rainey said...

Inamohde--First, thanks for reading our blog! We're glad you're enjoying it! And truthfully I've told myself a million times that if other mothers can deal with this then so can I! That's my one saving grace! :)

Anne Rainey said...

Mary--Thanks for the input. :) For some reason it helps to have other mothers to talk to about this.

She said...

I don't have kids but we've all gone through this rite of passage. She'll be okay. Just stress no more than one friend in the car. No changing the radio after every song. No cell phone. My dad was really cool. His feeling was a car could be replaced, people couldn't. He never got mad when we had an accident. My mother did (and she didn't drive!) He'd ask if anyone got hurt then take the car to the body shop for repair. No one was as bad as me. I wreaked about 12 times the first year I drove--little fender benders. Two of my sisters totalled cars. One of my nephews rolled and totalled two cars. So nothing your daughter can do can be worse than that. Trust her and she'll be fine.

Jen said...

Well I didn't get my license until I was 18. I got my permit when I was 15 but my parents made me take driver's ed and practice for the next 3 years. By the time I got my license I was completely comfortable with being behind the wheel. My parents were comfortable with my driving.... Well as comfortable as my Mama could get. For the record, she still stomps the imaginary brake.

Kati will do just fine.

Dara Edmondson said...

I have one learning now and another who started three years ago. It's hard, but little by little, you do get used to it. At this stage in the game you have to remember you've raised a smart kid. The foundation has been laid. Always remember you control those keys. Good luck!

Amy Ruttan said...

I'm not there yet. So I'm gleaning info. It's bad enough my oldest goes to school full time next fall.

Anne Rainey said...

She--thanks! Wow, 12 times...I was biting my nails before, but now I'm having horrible visions of bent medal. Glad you made it through! :)

Anne Rainey said...

Jen--my mom still stomps the pretend brake too. LOL Geez, I'm 41! LOL

Dara--you control those keys Good point!

Amy--I could swear it was yesterday that my youngest was starting Kindergarten. Dang, time flies!

Christine said...

Anne, my kids are now 20 and 21...the youngest even has a motorcycle and license...I was going crazy with worry when they were 16 & 17 then then a freeway bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed ... and at that moment I stopped worrying...still pray for their safety - but I don't worry... it's pointless... Luckily my kids weren't on the bridge at the time it dropped into the river, but they could have been, doing everything perfect, wearing seat belts, not talking on cell phones, obeying the speed limits and the bridge drops into the water...I figure it's all out of my hands... good luck

Anne Rainey said...

Christine--Soooo true!! The worrying only gives me wrinkles anyway! LOL