Last week my son got his driver’s license.
Initially I was happy to have another driver in the house. That makes a total of 4 drivers now. There is a bit of anxiety on my part having teen drivers. Although it is very nice having hours of extra time in the early mornings, evenings, and weekends not having to take them to practice, events, work, or social activities.
Apparently, a lot of other parents feel the same way I do. Well, the part about not wanting to have to spend hours of their week transporting kids. Angel even gets paid to provide transportation for other people’s kids. Really, it sucks that much! When you are single, you can go out on a Friday night. Married people without kids can do whatever they like. Even staying home is not that bad. You could have a nice romantic evening at home sipping wine watching Netflix.
Parents don’t have that luxury. Nowadays there are just as many events on the weekends as there are on the work days. The endless birthday parties, dances, events, tournaments, etc… Even going out on a Friday night is not sacred anymore. Sorry I can’t go, my teen has plans.. So, I totally understand.
Now that my son has his license, we are experiencing new problems that we never faced before. Angel was the absolute last kid in her circle of friends to get her license. Alex is the first. All of a sudden, he is the most popular guy around. Everyone wants a ride. But there is one problem, probationary license restrictions. He is only allowed to have one passenger that is under 18 and non family. We told him that we expect him to follow the law.
Over the weekend, Paul and I went sailing for the day. We weren’t very far from home, however a half an hour drive would take several hours on the boat. To be honest with you, I stalk my kids. While I was in the harbor, trying to relax, I noticed that my son was not where he said he was going to be. When I asked him where he was and what he was doing, his response was very elusive.
Of course, my mother mind goes right for the worst. I imagine that his girlfriend broke up with him and he is looking for a cliff to jump off of. Maybe he was drinking or doing drugs?? Drag racing my car? Getting into fights? Left for dead on the side of the road?? Parking with his girlfriend? A friend called me grandma last week and told me to get used to it. ALL bets are on my son to be the first to make that happen. What can I say? I am an anxious, worried sick, terrified mother of teenagers!
Later Alex told me what happened. He is honest to a fault. He picked up his girlfriend and her best friend disobeying his driving restrictions. He said that he spoke to each girl’s parents and explained his restrictions. They said that they didn’t mind as long as they didn’t have to do any driving. The new form of law breaking peer pressure. “But mom, I drive safer when I disobey my restrictions. I drive the speed limit”. Yeah, I heard that from a lot of drunk drivers too.
But what is it to the other parents? They don’t have to do all of the driving. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Whereas, my son could lose his license if he gets in trouble often enough. Points are doubled for a probationary license. I’m sure there would be a hefty fine. Plus our car insurance rates would skyrocket. God knows that he is not getting the good student discount.
What does he get out of disobeying? He is winning the approval and becoming well liked by his friends and their parents. Automatic brownie points with the new girlfriend’s parents since she lives over 20 minutes away. Why would he want to listen to us after achieving this newfound popularity?
Maybe I am making a big deal about nothing. It could be a lot worse. It could be texting and driving. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drag racing. Road rage. Lead foot. Highway hypnosis. Aahhh! I can’t worry about everything! Can I? Will I? I will try not worry about what I don’t have control over. I have to let God take the wheel and drive!!
God help me! I have teen drivers.