Driven to Distraction

No matter how old, this is what a parent sees when their “baby” starts to drive. (Photo by Todd Lappin, Telstar Logistics)


Getting ready for a trip, the last thing I want on my list is getting a new driver’s license for one of my kids. That doesn’t make the top ten on a normal schedule, but when all the requirements are met and the stars have seemingly aligned in your daughter’s favor, how do you say no? Well, you don’t if you have any recollection as to what it was like to be 16 (1/2), just passed the driving test, and you did your hair just for this occasion. (In Colorado, you keep the same license from 16-21, so a bad photo lives with you for a while.) However, after I saw the line at the DMV all I wanted to do was go home and try another day.

When I took her for driving lessons the prior week, I thought they would use her car, but the instructor was quick to point out they would use a “student driver” car with a brake on his side too.

Really? I never got one of those.

This was the third time I had waited, wondering if one of our girls would get the golden ticket, if the last year of white knuckled lessons paid off. (Good thing I took my adrenal supplements that morning.) It was 9:00 am; there was one person in front of us at the driving school, so by 9:45 we were at the DMV with the driving log, proof of residence, and a fresh signature on her driving test—PASSED. The room was over capacity with a derriere in every chair, as well as several perched along the walls.

According to the number on the paper, only 73 ahead of us.

So, we wait long enough to see how many minutes it takes to process 1 to determine our strategy. Now, it was lunchtime, so we bolt and spend the time more productively—eating—garnering strength for the wait when we return. With any luck, I might be able to talk Kristen out of going back, wait for another day (after our trip) to complete the licensing process. I even used the logic of how brutal a long wait could be on her finely coiffed hair and all the toddlers (impatiently) waiting along with us.

No such luck, she had set her jaw for whatever it took, but it was a lovely, celebratory lunch together.

Upon our return to the DMV there would clearly be several hours still ahead, so we snag the first vacant chair. As we quietly check Face Book and text messages on our phones, others around us begin long, loud phone conversations. Unfortunately, we were privy to the child support woes of the woman behind us, as well as the health issues of another woman and whoever she was connected to on the other end. The intimate details of her life became even harder to tune out when we heard her announce, “Yeah, I’ve got one of those on my butt.” At this tidbit of TMI, my daughter and I looked at each other like two wide-eyed teenagers, ready to bust out laughing. Kristen tried to collect herself, but neither of us could hold it in any longer as the woman’s conversation continued in greater detail.

Really? Are you really going to tell everyone at the DMV about that?           (Photo by Princess Nairne)

It was just the levity we needed to get through the remainder of our 5 hours—now we await the actual license in the mail to see if her hair held up.

In the meanwhile, we are visiting family in Missouri, cooking up a storm (proofing recipes at lower altitude), and snuggling golden retriever puppies—lots of puppies—my sister is a breeder.

Pictures to follow …


  1. says

    I remember those days well. My son was terrific. He knew how anxious I was when he took out a brand new car the day after getting his license. He was due back at 11 and at 10:50 he walked in the door. “I knew you’d be worried, so I made sure I was home early.” (ten minutes is early?)

    When my daughter (finally) got her license she was told the same thing (not a new car). 11pm came and 11pm went.. no Kathy. 12:50 and she walks through the door.

    “Why are you worried? I told you I was at Vanessa’s.” This was before mobile phones.

    wwIII when I wouldn’t let her drive my car again for a week.

    Your daughter sounds much more level headed. 🙂
    Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Quick and Easy Strawberry TartMy Profile

  2. says

    Isn’t it amazing the things people will say in public while talking on a cell phone? Congratulations to your daughter. It’s quite a milestone that she just passed. And, congratulation to you both for surviving the latest trip to the DMV. I swear some people go in there and never come out. 🙂
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Hey, Bella! I’ve got Mozzarella!My Profile

  3. says

    I found this article whilst looking for other information on driving lessons however I have to say thats the cutest picture with the baby behind the wheel haha and the dog doesnt look impressed whatsoever!
    [email protected] recently posted..Power Drive Ladies Driving SchoolMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge