Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gotta Love That Initiative!

We all want our children to be self-sufficient adults someday. To make their own decisions, forge their own paths, beat down their own doors. But when it comes to my teenager taking the reins and calling up the DMV herself to make an appointment to get her permit because her mother has been purposefully dragging her heels to do so, well, that just UNNERVES me! Who does she think she is, anyway? Someone responsible for her own future? JEEZ!

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I am FREAKED OUT about my daughter driving. I just don't think she's mature enough yet. Just the other day, for instance, we were driving around in my car with the sunroof opened. For no particular reason except that my teenager is plain crazy, she takes off her seatbelt, jumps up from her seat, sticks her head and arms out the sunroof and screams, "WHOO-HOO!"

Holy shit, I thought. "You are SO not driving!"

Personally, I think teenagers shouldn't be allowed to get their licenses until they're at LEAST 17. Make that 18. There are plenty of stories to back me up on this. (Read here.) Not to mention the ALARMING statistic that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. So why are we in such a hurry to turn the keys over to our kids?
What's interesting is that we came from SoCal where many of my daughter's friends are getting their licenses right now, at age 16.5. Up here in NorCal, the kids aren't in as much of a hurry. My daughter knows a number of 18-year-olds who still don't have their licenses. And these kids are welcome in my home ANYTIME.

So yeah, I've been ignoring my teenager's pleas to call the DMV while she's at school to make an appointment for her to get a permit, the first step she must take before she can start Driver's Training -- which I DID pay for already as a birthday gift, mind you, knowing full well that we wouldn't be cashing in on that anytime soon -- and half-hoping that she'd get sidetracked by other teenage distractions, like Homecoming, boys and SAT worries.

But that little booger has been RELENTLESS! Last week, she stopped asking me to make an appointment for her and she made one herself -- down in SoCal over Thanksgiving break, where she will be visiting her dad, who isn't as concerned as me about his teenager driving.

I gotta admire her initiative, but still . . . she is SO not driving! I need to buy some time. Time for her to grow up a little more. Time for that free-spirited brain to develop important, life-saving synapses. Time for me to model better driving habits.

I could stall and delay the inevitable a little while longer. But in the end, a neurotic mother may be no match for a determined young woman so eager to start her own journey, pedal to the metal, down her own winding road.


Michael Roman said...

Teen driving is the largest cause of fatalities in teens. has a way to combat teen driving incidents. Take away their anonymity behind the wheel. For a small fee you get a bumper sticker with an 800 number just like the ones we see on commercial vehicles. Call is immediately placed to parents to react right then. It takes a community to raise a child!

Lynn said...


I LOVE the idea of the bumper sticker! Simple, yet so effective. Thank you for sharing this extremely valuable piece of info with parents of teens.

If you'd like to write a guest post about this, let me know. I would be happy to publish it right here.