My older son got his license recently.
We made him wait long enough for it. We’d held him back since he received his permit, seeing numerous mistakes (like thinking he could turn left on red if the road was clear). However, when his permit neared the expiry date, we decided it was time.
We were nervous. I guess every parent is. But for my wife and I, we’ve always thought it to be a little more.
Our older son has a language disability. He processes speech slowly. Math and science give him very little trouble and he’s gotten to where he can handle History. Language Arts, though, is a class he’d like to avoid. It’s the way his mind works. He doesn’t make decisions quickly. He doesn’t process information quickly.Also, he processes without nuance. Doesn't affect him most subjects, except Language Arts.
We’d seen something similar in his driving habits. A steady drive he can handle. A drive in dense traffic left us nervous. Another driver being stupid scares the daylights out of us. Given how our son reacts, we worried he would make decisions too slow. Even after he got his license, we wouldn’t let him drive alone.
Yet, after a while, and with my older son’s pleadings, my wife and I hit a point where we knew it was time. Our son is a responsible young man. He would do his best.
We let him drive to his Boy Scout meeting first. Had him call us when he got there and call us when he left. Then we let him go to the library, pick up take-out, have him meet us somewhere. Short distances.
Then, on the last day of school, he was helping out with graduation due to him being a junior marshal. He wouldn’t be getting home until late. He’d been up since 5:00 a.m. I worried that he might be too tired to drive home. He phoned to say he was leaving and I waited in the garage until I saw the lights hit the driveway…and heaved a sigh of relief.
As for my son, he thought he worried about nothing. For him, he only wondered what took us so long to finally let him be on his own. He’d been embarrassed, waiting for his parents to pick him up at school events while his friends could drive themselves home. Being able to drive himself meant something to him.
Now he’s asking for a parking permit for senior year, saying every kid in his class drives to school. I told him we needed to wait until we got another car.
One of these days, I may be able to let go.
One thing at a time.
Picture from www.mycutegraphics.com.