It’s time.

What time is that?  The time every parent dreads….

Their child is ready to start driving.

QUICK!!!  Clear the roads!  LaLa is coming through!

Well, not yet – not really.  We still need to get her lessons, a permit, and a vehicle, but we’re working on it!  And this is where our struggles come in.

She’ll be 16 in less than 3 weeks.  She hasn’t even started drivers ed yet.  Part of that is our fault – partly her fault.  She doesn’t like to ask for anything or let us know what’s really important to her.  We really have to pay attention to subtle clues with her to really know what she’s thinking.  Since she hasn’t been talking about driving, or getting ready to drive, or asking when she’s going to start driving, or asking to start the car, back out of the driveway, practice in parking lots – we’ve let it slip our minds for all of the 100’s of other things that having 4 kids, 2 dogs, a spouse, a house, a job and the trappings of adult life that get in the way of more important things…..like teaching your oldest child how to drive.

I believe it’s mostly her personality that has her like this – not asking us for anything (except small things).  But, I also believe it’s partly due to Jetsam that she’s like this.  For years, Jetsam told her she wasn’t able to do things (like learn math – she’s been telling LaLa that she’s learning disabled in math since LaLa was in 1st grade….damn what the teachers say – Jetsam knows what she’s talking about!).  I don’t know why Jetsam told her this, but it’s evident when talking to LaLa that she has no confidence in her own abilities.  Jetsam also told all of the kids that their dad doesn’t love them, that he only wanted custody of them to stop paying child support, and that he’s a selfish SOB.  Just look at The Mistress and to her, that’s all the proof she needs that he doesn’t care or love his kids.  {rolls eyes}  Whatever.

However – I’m really struggling with her driving as well.  I’m nervous and scared for her (like most parents are), but that’s not what I’m struggling most with.  I’m struggling with Hun.  He doesn’t even have any desire to look for a vehicle for her to drive.  We’ve been talking for the last year and then some about what vehicle to get her and now that we’re down to the nitty-gritty about actually NEEDING to get one, he’s dragging his feet! 

He doesn’t want to buy a car when I bring it up.  He comes up with a dozen reasons why now is not the time to buy.  We don’t have the money (yes we do – for a cheap beater car).  We should spend that money on bills instead of buying the kid a car (if we always use that excuse – we’ll never buy any of our kids a vehicle).  The type of vehicle he wants to get her isn’t available (what type is that?  Vague answers of, “I’ll know it when I see it”). 

He says we’ll just teach her how to drive in our vehicles – why does she need her own car? 

Me – Because we NEED The Beast to haul 6 people around in and I’m not letting her run the risk of wrecking it – do you agree?

Him – You’re right – not a good teaching vehicle for her.

Me – So teach her in your truck. 

Him – Why my truck?  It’s too big for her too!

Me – Exactly!  That’s why she needs her own vehicle – smaller than what we own!

Him – We’ll look at one for her eventually. 

Me – What was wrong with the car down the street?

Him – It sold.

Me – Yeah, because you were dragging your feet!

Him – I didn’t like it anyway.

Me – ARGH!!  So when are we looking for a vehicle for her?  There are a couple of good sounding ones in the paper today.

Him – Well – here’s a good looking one on Craig’s List.

Me – Great!  When are we going to go look at it? 

Him – I don’t know.  I’m planning on fishing tomorrow and we were going to paint on Sunday.  Let’s talk about it later.

AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

I talked to Hun some more today and he really didn’t want to.  He knows I’m getting frustrated with him.  I pointed out to him that I’m more excited about this phase of his daughter’s life than he is.  He finally admitted that he’s scared for her to drive.  He drives in our city’s traffic all day for work and has been in so many wrecks (all small thankfully and all have been the other driver’s fault) because of the other crazy drivers.  He doesn’t want her to get hurt.

I get that – I really do.  I don’t want to see her hurt either.  I don’t want to see any of the kids hurt (Buddy and Rowdy will both be 16 within the next 2 years as well).  However, driving is one of the stepping stones to becoming an adult.  I don’t want to hold my children back because I’m afraid to let them fly for fear that they will be hurt. 

Will I be scared shit-less the first time she leaves the house by herself?  Guaranteed. 

But neither do I want to make her wait for practice until she’s 18 and we can’t keep her home either.  I want her to feel comfortable in her own abilities and that requires practice.  And practice takes time, patience and effort. 

We’re running out of all of these things…..

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