Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Who's gonna drive you home tonight?

As a parent I’m constantly marking firsts: first steps, first solid foods, first sleeping through the night, first day of school. There are endless firsts. I was prepared for all those. The “first” I experienced last night, not so much. Michael had his first Driver’s Ed. class.

I’m going to pause for a moment for that to sink in and for my hands to stop shaking so I can keep typing…

Michael’s been looking forward to this day since he was four. We have countless pictures of little Michael peering out the driver’s side window, hands firmly grasping the steering wheel, intently driving somewhere in his mind. He has collected Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars, car posters, car books, car magazines (he currently subscribes to Car and Driver, Motor Trend and Hemmings Classic Car Motor News) for years. He’s talked about cars, written papers about cars, read about cars, basically lived and breathed cars for as long as I can remember. And last night he took his first steps toward making his dream a reality.

He was so nervous he couldn’t eat. Believe me, that is nervous. But he was also so excited – between Michael and Sean the excitement was palpable.

He’ll have two hours of classroom instruction four nights a week for three weeks. In addition he’ll spend several hours behind the wheel with the instructor. And at the end of three weeks he’ll have his permit to drive with us.

From now on, when we drive to Georgia, we will have three drivers. I wonder if Sean’s going to like sitting in the back seat?

This is one of those firsts I’m excited to mark, yet amazed at how fast we got here. I just hope Michael doesn’t drive as fast as the time flew that brought us to this point. Or as fast as his mother does.