Another teenage boy just got his drivers license. In a polygamous family that usually means that right behind him is another teenager in line to get his drivers permit. You know the one? They take a test at the DMV and if they pass they can start driving with a parent to get in 40 hours of practice time. The next one in line for us is Shad, who is 15-1/2!
You would think after having had seven kids go through this process already that we would be pro’s. Not so much. There is nothing quite so unenjoyable (and sometimes frightening) as driving with a miniature adult who THINKS he knows how to drive.
The other night Shad asked me if I would go with him so he could get some driving time in. It was late, it was dark, I was tired and a little bit irritable…yes, me! I didn’t think it was a good idea for me to go on one of his first practice runs. I mean maybe if it was a bad experience he would end up being a terrible driver for life and it would be all my fault for giving him a complex at a formative time. So I begged off and hoped he would get his dad or one of the other moms to go.
Later, I saw him walk out the door with Joe. He looked pretty confident, keys jingling in his hands. I sat back relieved. Half an hour later they walked back in the door, Shad looking a little dejected and Joe, with a frustrated look on his face. I got the feeling it didn’t go so well. Come to find out he ran a four way stop among some other stressful mishaps.
We have 10 cars now on insurance. We recently told all of the older ones that were moved out they had to get their own insurance. We believe that driving is a privelege, not a right. They have to get and keep good grades, have no accidents or speeding tickets, and to have their own car they have to pay for it. As it is the younger ones are stuck driving the old minivan to school. From that standpoint they help out with the family, because having the extra chauffers in the family is invaluable. If you have a scary teenage driving experience feel free to share.