Saturday, August 02, 2008
Be The Cone
Last night, I stood in a parking lot while a car drove toward me and maneuvered within inches. After a brief stop, the car reversed and tried to retrace its tracks, missing me and crushing a traffic cone behind it. This was one of my less demanding, yet grueling jobs as a mother. My daughter was practicing for the maneuverability test so she could pass her driving test and I was one of the five cones.
Some parents are so nervous about their kids driving. Maybe because my daughter is not a risk-taker, I feel a little more secure, but I know that when she gets behind the wheel and pulls onto the road, I can't protect her anymore. Even riding with her while she practiced driving, I knew if things went really wrong, there was nothing I could do.
Her appointment was at 4 p.m. and we showed up early. A glitch. Her temporary permit was issued exactly one year and a day before. It had expired. The examiner sent us next door to get a new temporary permit and I heard her tell someone on the phone that they were scheduling appointments in two weeks. We waited in line for about 40 minutes and paid $22 for a new temporary permit that she had for less than 24 hours.
The examination office was closing when we left with her temps. Maxwell, one of the officers, told us we were too late to take the written test. My daughter had to retake the written test because of her expired temps.
"Come early. Saturday is a zoo," Maxwell warned.
So, at 8 a.m., we were in line for the written test. After she passed, we lay in wait for Maxwell as he returned from a driving test.
"Do you remember us from yesterday? Can you fit us in?"
He was a nice guy and he surreptitiously worked her into his driving schedule. She came back from the car smiling. And we stood in another line until she emerged with another license, this one letting her take to the roads alone.
So this afternoon, at 12:30, she got into her dad's red convertible and she drove away. Only three miles to work and three miles back. But she was alone in the car. Without the radio on if she was following my rules.
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