My 16 year old daughter, Stephanie is learning to drive. She has taken her time with it. She could already have her driver’s license at her age, but she hasn’t been in a hurry. She said that she hasn’t really wanted to get out on the roads. I can’t really blame her – the roads here are really crowded and sometimes a bit crazy.
When I was a 15 year old kid all I wanted to do was get behind the wheel. But, it was different back then. The roads were empty. Melbourne Florida was a small, quiet town. My dad was insistent that I learn to drive on a stick shift, because so many cars were stick back then. He also made me change a couple of tires before I ever got behind the wheel. He made me change the oil, too. He said that I wasn’t going to drive a car without knowing how to take care of it first.
I learned to drive on an old light blue VW square back. It had over 150,000 miles on it at the time. I remember coming around the corner in an intersection here in town, and pushing the clutch in, and the clutch rod snapped – in half. The car came to a slow stop – in the middle of the intersection. At the time I was terrified! My dad and I got out and pushed it to a nearby parking lot. That was the first of a long line of cars that I had to push for one reason or another in my life.
The day I turned 16 years old, I was at the driver’s license office, taking my test. I was driving the next day.
Today, around here, that seems to have changed. Teenagers are taking a bit longer to learn to drive…an extra year or two. Stephanie tells me that she is not comfortable driving my Mini Van because it’s only 2 years old. Stephanie has just inherited her Grandma’s car, which is smaller and older than my vehicle. She seems to be fine with it. She is now asking to drive everyday. I’ll let you know when she decides it’s time to head to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get her driver license.
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