Are We Climbing Into the Seat of Terror or Triumph?

I rode in THE SEAT. I even suggested it. She’d never even sat behind the wheel. At first, I just intended to show her how to start it. Then, I figured, she’d have to drive someday. When I survived, I couldn’t let my husband get away without his turn in what he called, “The Seat of Terror.”

Our first teenager takes her driver’s permit test today. If she passes, I’ll climb in THE SEAT over and over while we practice for the day she will drive on her own. I’ll adjust to the settings on the passenger’s side and get more comfortable. Still, that first time I paused, with my seat belt in mid-pull and considered, “Does she know enough to be sitting there while I am sitting over here?”

She starts driving on the road and starts working at her first real job this week. The angst she’s shown leading up to both milestones means we should be terrified that she really doesn’t know what she is doing or triumphant that she feels the weight of responsibility.

Probably some of both, for each of us.


  1. Camille
    Jun 22, 2009

    Oh, I dread the coming of that day with my two little ones!! However, I remember how excited I was to finally gain that independence with a drivers’ license/new job, etc. It’s just another milestone in her life. And as hard as I can imagine it would be for a parent, it also means a looser grip of the hold you have on her hand! Good luck! 🙂

  2. Alicia Johnson
    Jun 22, 2009

    When I learned how to drive, my mom was too afraid to take me. So my dad and I went to the church parking lot and he taught me. When we graduated to the road he had a hard time . . . the defining moment was when he grabbed the dashboard with both hands and yelled, “THIS IS NOT A CAR, IT IS A WEAPON! YOU COULD KILL SOMEBODY WITH THIS THING!”

    After that, I taught myself how to drive.

  3. TJ
    Jun 22, 2009

    She passed! And here’s what she wrote as her Facebook status: “aced her permit test, picked up her permit, but still is hesitant to drive.”

  4. Terresa Wellborn
    Jun 24, 2009

    Mmm, I think I’m pretty happy right now on preschool & elementary school island with my 4 little kids. Teenage years and white-knuckled driving lessons…best of luck. I learned to drive by using our Econoline near-windowless family van. I never did hit anything or anyone. Do you have some very good seatbelts I hope?

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