Whatever you do, do not drive all the way up there on a Thursday after school, because you will just have to turn around and drive all the way back home.
This week, following a second trip to Jacksonville, I am the proud mother of a 15-year-old with a learner’s permit.
I was petrified when I first got my learner’s permit. I was a city kid, and had never driven a car before. The thought of driving terrified me. I wouldn’t even go on that Six Flags ride where you drive little Model T cars around a track.
I still vividly remember driver’s ed class: me at the wheel, the football coach squeezed into the passenger seat, three other kids crammed in the back, all of us sweating in 100-degree summer heat.
A calm and peaceful learning environment, to be sure.
When my husband first started driving, he ran into a ditch because he was busy watching a girl in a bikini instead of the road.
One of my high-school friends ran his car into a ditch at the end of our driveway, blocking us in until the next morning, when a neighbor kindly towed him out with a riding mower.
When I started driving, I never ran into a ditch. I ran out of gas a couple of times. And maybe one of those times I grabbed the wrong container and poured a gallon of kerosene in my car by mistake.
No, my bigger problem was running into those short little concrete poles they put in parking lots.
Three times I ran into those things. C’mon, they’re so short you can’t see them from the driver’s seat.
Really, those were only minor dings to my car. I got the big dent one morning on my way to school. I did not go flying through that intersection — the woman who ran into me was exaggerating. I was inching veerrrrry sloooowly through that intersection because traffic was backed up and I couldn’t see if there were any oncoming cars.
I was a poor high-school student, and couldn’t afford to get the dent fixed. So I took black duct tape and stuck the letters O-U-C-H on my car next to the dent.
Thirty years later, I like to think I’m a more careful driver. I don’t text and drive. I keep both hands on the steering wheel. I try really, really hard not to speed up at yellow lights.
Even so, I ran into another of those darn concrete poles a few years ago.
That dent in my car right now? That’s not my fault.
When my daughter is ready for her first car, we’re getting her a tank.
Contact Lisa Davis at email@example.com