So, here I am, sitting in the passenger seat of the faithful and dusty old people mover our family loves so much-aka: the cranberry-colored Kia minivan. What’s different this day than any other, you ask? Well, today I’m being chauffeured around by my teenage daughter.
A seventeen year old with my life in her hands; the same teenager that I’ve practically had to make a second career out of pissing off; the one who has probably screamed, “I hate you!” into her pillow more times than Telly Savalas ever said, “Who loves ya, Baby?”
The traffic is piling up around us, a barely out of school girl in a small sports car next to us, a local cop in one of those ‘undercover’ white Ford Crown Victorias with a big laptop computer sticking up in the windshield and a big spotlight hanging off the sideview mirror is pressed up against our back bumper. It’s been a pretty good Sunday so far, will it last? Only time will tell. It kind of depends on if the ‘undercover’ guy behind us pulls her over, or perhaps the chick in the sports car will sideswipe us while trying to text her BFF that the comment about her boyfriend was LOL.
It all brings back memories; memories of me being in the same position as her-albeit, a very long time ago. I was actually even younger then than she is now. I had a license from the Great State of Florida granting me the privilege to drive upon its public roads and I had every intention of trying out each and every one of them. There wasn’t a single time that our old truck left the driveway without me sitting proudly in the driver seat, acting like I had been motoring around town my whole life. Hell, I had a permanent surveillance position set up on that tan Datsun pickup that had a five speed on the floor and four cylinder under the hood (This probably isn’t the place to mention that I wrecked that very truck very shortly after getting my actual license. Of course, it wasn’t my fault…).
All this to say, “I guess some things don’t change.” I am happy to take my place in the long line of terrified parents who have suffered through this tradition. And, I look forward to being one of the survivors. I will not let a few ‘close calls’ on the highway deter me from getting through this and moving on to the next challenge of parenthood-can you say ‘graduation’? And quit laughing, because in a few short months this teenager may be sitting next to you in traffic, with no responsible adult sitting next to her keeping her off of your shiny fender.