My son, JM (he used to be Guacamole but that just didn't flow as well as Alberquando) has been driving for almost one year. As I have said before, there is nothing quite as scary as standing on the porch and waving as your "baby" gets behind the wheel and drives away...without me. As of that second I lost the "Total Control" that I had felt over him for 16 years (he's 17 now). There he goes. It takes every bit of strength for me not to run down the road beside him as he's driving, yelling out things like, "Don't forget to buckle up always", "Don't speed", "Please please please be careful"..etc etc etc. Of course I said all those things 2,357 times before he walked out the door but maybe if I say them just once more they will be sure to be firmly implanted in his head.
But no, I stand there and wave good-bye with a fake smile plastered on my face.
That was all last year.
Flash forward to present day.
I still want to run along beside him, I still give all the warnings every time he goes anywhere (thank goodness he is so patient with me as I know I drive him crazy). But it has gotten a little bit easier. Of course there have been mishaps, but no major injuries. (Dear God, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Please keep watching him. Please keep watching him. Please keep watching him......)
Anyway, as for the mishaps,
#1 "Mom, I'm at Sam's house. The car won't start. We looked under the hood and there is oil everywhere!"
OK, I take the blame entirely for this. I "taught" him how to check his oil in the car and how to add oil as needed. It's an old car so he needs to check it regularly. Note to Everyone...."NEVER, EVER, EVER, FORGET TO REPLACE THE OIL CAP AFTER ADDING OIL!!" (especially when you are "teaching" someone else how to do it). After a day of driving without the cap on, the engine was soaked with oil and the alternator needed to be replaced. As I said, I take full credit for this one.
#2. "MOM, They were SO right in driver's Ed class. They said if the roads are wet and you start to hydroplane, that you lose all control of the car. I thought I could surely handle it but I actually had NO control as the car glided off the road. Don't worry, there was a party going on across the street where I went off the road. it took about 6 or 7 guys but we were finally able to get the car out of the ditch. I'll wash all the mud off tomorrow"
When he got home, I asked him if it scared him. He looked me straight in the eye and said "YES" He said he was shaking for about an hour. good.
#3 "Mom, can you please come and pick me up. I forgot to turn off my headlights and the battery is dead". ok, that happens to everyone at least once.
#4. "Mom, um, can you come and pick me up? I'M OKAY. I was, well, you see, I went to spit out the window (gross) and some of it got on the window frame. I only looked away for 2 seconds to wipe it off with my arm. I started to drift off the road. You know how they said in Driver's Ed to be careful about over correcting? Well, they were right. After I drifted off the road my reflex was to turn hard to get back on the road. Well the edge of the road blew out both of my passenger side tires. I only have one spare. Oh, and thank goodness no one was coming down the road the other way or I would probably be dead".
Yes, he was shaken up...but no where near as badly as I was.
#5 I received a letter from the local county police dept..."Dear Mrs MyADHDMe (actually, I think they put my real name) This letter is to inform you that your son was pulled over on so-and-so date for exceeding the speed limit. Although we did not issue him a ticket, we would just like you to be aware of this. Please remind him of the importance of driving safely and obeying all traffic laws.etc etc etc."
I received this letter about 2 weeks after the fact. He must have completely "Forgotten" about being pulled over since he had never mentioned it to me. But, you would have loved the "deer in the headlights" look he got when I asked him about it. Speaking of deer....
#6. "Hi Mom. That stupid deer ran right out in front of me. It's a good thing I had my window down because he knocked the driver's side mirror right thru the window area and if it had been closed it would have shattered the window all over me. The mirror cut my hand a little bit. There's a lot of blood but the man that works at Waffle house said I don't need stitches." (since when does Waffle House employ paramedics?)
"Oh, and Mom, when the deer hit the car, his body flung around and hit the back window and busted it out. Lucky for Justin (his friend), he was sitting on the other side. Otherwise he would probably have been hurt bad!" (as opposed to hurt good?) "Oh gross, mom, there's deer poop on the car" (sigh)
#7 (last night) "Mom, usually when my gas tank is on empty I still have a few miles to go. I don't know why it didn't happen this time. Could you please bring me some gas?"
I think they should change the driving age to 18...or 21....25?
Well, he's still driving and understandably I still worry. However, every accident was minor and he did learn something in each one. A lot of those things, you need to experience yourself before you take them seriously. We were blessed that there were no serious injuries. As for the car, she's still running. She's a 1991 Nissan Sentra with 160,000 miles. It was mine for 16 years and he's had it for one. I'm pretty sure we got our money's worth.