Thursday, January 26, 2012

A letter to my son before he gets his driver's license...

My oldest child will be getting his driver's license soon.  Not only does that make me feel old, but it also tests my limits on how much control I am willing to give up in his life.  Right now he is mostly a captive audience; he can't go anywhere beyond the small town that we live in without a ride from someone.  But that will change soon.  I'll have to trust that he will remember the things I have taught him and forget the things that I have done while driving that I'm not so proud of.  So if I can write down some tips here for him, maybe it will make me feel a little bit better.  I hope.

Dear Brian,

Pretty soon you will be getting behind the wheel of the Yukon XL without your dad or I climbing into the passenger seat beside you.  (If I am crying, just hand me a Kleenex and pat me on the shoulder.)  I knew that this day would come sooner or later, and there are some things that I want to share and/or reinforce with you before that day comes.

Driving is a privilege:  Carrying a brand new license with your sparkly-eyed, excited picture in your wallet will not entitle you to using the car whenever or for wherever you feel like going.

Driving is a convenience:  Having your driver's license will (hopefully) be helpful to your dad and I.  You can drive yourself to meetings, friends' houses, the grocery store, and wherever else that will save us some time.

Driving is a responsibility:  Getting into a car and driving it as a law-abiding, sign-watching, responsible teenage boy will take forethought and maturity.  Remember to put your seatbelt on as soon as you get in the car.  Practice doesn't make perfect, Practice makes Permanent.  Keep your eyes and your mind on the road.  There are so many distractions when driving, so even fiddling with the radio, checking out a cute girl, rummaging around for a piece of gum, taking a drink of your Gatorade, or talking to someone else in the car can distract you enough to make a mistake.  And do as I say, not as I do.

Driving takes practice:  Even though you have a shiny new license burning a hole in your wallet, that doesn't a professional driver make.  You will constantly be improving and learning as you are behind the wheel.  Take it slow.  Watch for pedestrians, especially kids.  They are short, and don't show up in your windows and mirrors.  Check behind you, beside you, and in every mirror and out every window, and then check again.  Try not to be in a hurry, and leave with plenty of time to get to where your going. And most importantly; beware of other teenage drivers.  Don't try to show off to or one-up any other drivers on the road.

I know this sounds like my usual lecture, but I'm only concerned because I love you.  And because I want you to learn from mistakes experience.

Love, Mom

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


dawn said...

This is so awesome of you to do this. Do you mind if I print it out and save it for my kids. I have a 22 year old who had 3 accidents in the first year of driving. My next daughter will be 16 next year but we decided to wait this time, would love to write something like this for her and ME!! It's the first scary thing we do as a parent, like really scary not first day of kindergarten scary.

I'm thrilled and touched that you thought to do this and shows what a great and caring mom you are. We need more moms like you out there.

Good luck on this new adventure and wish you both luck and to be safe.

Thanks for sharing this important lesson with us.

Corine said...

I just giggled when I read your request for a keenex... LOL I had a camera with me and took photos of my daughter the first time she drove. My sons have driven with their dad, but I'm sure to do the same with them when they drive with me. :o It is fun to watch them grow up! :) Happy mothering...
Corine :D

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