You Guys. Apparently, Minnesota has this crazy notion that 15 year-olds can get behind the wheel with an “instructional permit” to learn to drive, and for some reason, when they reach the age of 15, there is a strong desire among these Minnesota teens to take the classroom training to obtain said instructional permit. Or at least the desire is strong with the teen who lives in my house, who had me investigating options for classroom training courses today.
WHAT was the state legislature thinking?! I mean, my 15 year old is just a kid. A baby, really. I’m sure as you read this, you’re joining with me in outrage and righteous indignation at the ridiculous, preposterous notion that 15 year-olds, and especially MY 15 year-old, should be learning to drive. It’s absurd, really.
What’s that? Well, yes… he DOES shave now. And yes, yes, he IS 6’1”. Yes, you’re right that I’ve written about how mature and responsible he is (most of the time.) Yes, yes, I DID grow up in South Dakota where these permits came at age 14.
But… him? My child? DRIVING? That’s just one short step away from getting a job. And voting. And registering for selective service. And leaving home, and going to college and… and… becoming an ADULT. And THAT is what both thrills and terrifies me beyond words.
Somehow, I lost the parenting instructional manual, and I can’t figure out how to keep him at this perfect age. And of course, even if I could, I would not truly want to do so. I’m not so far removed from 15 to have forgotten how it feels to be on the cusp of adulthood, and on the brink of things like INDEPENDENCE and RESPONSIBILITY. And of course, I’m referring to the good kind of responsibility that sounds romantic to a 15 year old, like having your own credit card or your own car, or your own apartment; not so much the kind of responsibility that means having a mortgage and owing taxes and trying to save for retirement.
So… it would seem that driver’s education classes are in his near future. As much as it pains me, it also makes me so proud to see him reaching this mile marker on the highway that is his life. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t some small part of me silently lobbying to move to the countryside (read: far, FAR away from interstates and spaghetti junctions, and any traffic, really.) Maybe a nice Amish community where he could practice with a horse-drawn buggy for a while…
And if you know where I put my parenting instructional manual, I’d love to get my hands on it. I’ll need something to hold onto for dear life when we start the behind-the-wheel training.