Driving Miss Japolina....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

     When my  son was learning how to swim, it seemed like the hardest parenting thing ever for me. Living in South Florida, it is a necessity to teach kids as early as possible. 

    From age one and a half  on,  he took swimming lessons each spring.  I put him in group lessons at the community center. I put him in private lessons at the community center. I had a swim teacher come and teach him at our house. My husband tried to teach him. Year after year, he would cry, puke, almost drown and then finally start to swim just a little bit and only in the shallow end. 

    Native Floridians like me think anything between the end of September and April as "too cold to swim months" so we would stop swimming and by May, pretty much be at square one all over again.  I watched his friends start swimming and become little fish.  It was not until he was 7, when we were on a cruise, that he jumped in and never stopped swimming.  He is now a strong swimmer and has no fear of water at all so I guess it all worked out  fine.   

   My point is  that I thought that teaching him how to swim was really important for his safety and independence AND really, really hard.  What could be harder to teach than swimming to a kid who did not want to swim? Maybe potty training but that was accomplished way before the swimming was. 

     We are now at the driving stage. Well, the learner's permit stage.  It is totally terrifying.  I know why it is biologically very difficult to get pregnant after a certain age. It is because you should not be sitting in the passenger seat of your car with your 15 year old driving if you are older than 50.  I can't even imagine if I was 10 years older trying to sit in traffic with a child learning how to drive without having some type of coronary event.   As it is, I am trying to yoga breathe and not scream while he is behind the wheel.   I've considered offering a cash incentive to forget the whole driving thing and eventually apply to colleges in cities with great public transportation options like NYC.  I am down to the six month wire and now feel like I need to let him drive as much as possible before he gets his real license.   

    In my "mommy career", I've always found that having mom friends a year or two ahead of me, has always been valuable. "Don't worry about fifth grade math, they will get it" or "they will stop that biting thing when they are 3" was always much needed and wise advice.  

   Unfortunately, my mom friends that have kids who are now in the beginning stages of driving on their own are terrifying me. Once friend's' son has already been in 2 fender benders after only having his license for a couple of months. Another says that she is terrified whenever her 16 year old pulls out of the driveway and only calms down after he returns home.  I see another friend's sweet little daughter speeding around town like hell on wheels quite often.  None of this is comforting.  

Is there anything harder than this? Please let me know because I could use a heads up.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i'm sure not the one to help honey, i would if i could. the duck had his share of problems as did cat. now grandson rolled his car when a deer ran out in front of him on his way home. he also has three (3!!) speeding tickets already. grey hair? you bet! just try to instill good sense in everything.

hugs, bee

Susie said...

Japolina, You may want a second hand car till he really gets the hang of it. I have heard of kids in minor bumps and dings. My daughters had driver-ed at school. I don't think many offer that any longer. It helped. Also if they carry good grades they get insurance cheaper. I wish so much luck...this may be when your husband should be in the passenger seat.:):)xoxo,Susie

NanaDiana said...

I so remember those days of driving and being afraid. However, it was much more scary to have them ride with a young friend(s). We always had a rule that there could only ever be one other teenager in the car with them at one time. That way there was the horsing around and distractions.

Scarier? Dating! xo Diana

Red Rose Alley said...

This is very hard on a mother, indeed, as I went through it three times already. I can relate to the mother who said that she could only rest until her child came home. With that said, these years were the happiest of my life, and when they get older like 30, there is a whole new world of stuff to worry about. It's part of being a mother I guess, and it never ends.

Hang in there, dear, and the one thing that you can do is pray that God gives you strength through it all.


vivian said...

lol! nope sorry.. cant help ya.. I have four kids and taught them all to drive... It was the hardest and most terrifying thing I ever had to do! Let them drive my car??? are you kidding, I couldnt even let them push my grocery cart!!! I use to tell them not to drive faster then 30.. Id yell at them... "only go 30!! when I'm comfortable with you at 30, I'll let you go 35!!" when my daugther got in the car with her father and he asked why she was driving so slow she told him I never let her drive the speed limit! he told her to goooo!!! she came home and told me that he had her driving 60 and 65 mph! yeah, so good luck my friend... the only way to make it easier is to hire a driving school to teach them! If I could have afforded it.. I would have.
have fun!! be safe!! and keep your seat belt on! LOL!

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