Driving Lessons

Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
— George Carlin

One of a parents milestones is upon me, teaching my first born to drive. He has just passed his theory and is now able, under the watchful gaze of a responsible adult (i.e. me), to be let loose on the road.

I think my Ex was quite keen to teach him but we have had a change in family circumstances which has meant Rog will be living far more with me and, sadly, Liv will be living far more with Rose. There hasn’t been any major eruptions. It basically involves a change of school, town and logistics which I won’t go into now.

The upshot is that I will be teaching Rog to drive and we'll be starting in the next couple of weeks. This gives me a little time to work out what is the best way to approach this task. I checked in with Google to see what the world suggests and found the following list at the top of the search which I found simple and it felt about right.

  • Make sure your teen has a learner's permit.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Locate a quiet parking lot.
  • Narrate your driving.
  • Check that the parking lot is empty.
  • Start with straight lines.
  • Do some simple loops.
  • Keep the first lesson short.

It seems that the sentiment under pinning this advice is be careful and make sure you’re calm yourself. This makes sense as fear can be quite catching. In my searching I also came across this useful guide for my son to survive the lessons with me!

I was instantly reminded of my own worst driving experience which happened when my Dad was teaching me to drive.

I was driving the family car, a VW “bug”, and I wasn’t going very fast around a normally deserted piece of road one Sunday morning. The details are sketchy, it was 35 years ago, but I remember another car came up from behind and I got distracted and the next thing I know I was off the road side swiping a fence. I’m sure there must have been some yelling and swearing but, in truth, I can’t remember any and so I’ll give my dad the benefit of the doubt and say he was cool as a cucumber.

That was the last driving lesson I got from my dad and a few months later I started with a driving school.

That has been my worst “accident” and hopefully that will remain the case. The second worst was when I collided into my Dad in his new car in our driveway! Thankfully this time there was little damage to either car and I can’t remember any yelling that time either!

I hope that history doesn’t repeat itself and I can help Rog navigate his way to his licence without the need of panel repairs. And I will also look forward to running into him for the rest of my life, figuratively!