Monday, November 29, 2010

In which I become a disabler...

I have identified a situation in which I am anything but an enabler.

My younger son is learning to drive. He's doing very well, and his instructor speaks very highly of his progress. Whenever possible, I let him drive me around. On short jaunts to the shops and such, this is fine. It's the longer trips that are the problem.

The other night, I let him drive to rugby practice. It's a distance of some 8 miles or so, along a minor road. He has a tendency to drive rather close to the left side of the road (this is the UK, remember, where we drive on the left), and, when he changes gear, he tends to drift even further.

I'm sure his instructor deals with this kind of thing day in and day out, and is inured to it (judging from the utterly unscientific sample of my two sons, this seems to be a fairly common tendency). I, however, am less accustomed to it, and my rising stress levels were doing nothing for my son's confidence.

Eventually, he pulled into a side road and instructed me to drive the rest of the way. I was mortified.

It seems that when I fear for my personal safety, I am unable to be the unfailingly encouraging person I would like to be.

L plate image by canonsnapper


V Yonkers said...

Oh, boy do I relate to that. I will be doing round 2 next year with my daughter (thank goodness I have a year in between kids to recuperate). I wrote a similar post this summer and last winter. I was only thrown out of the passenger's seat once, when my son was learning to parallel park and was blocking traffic across the entire road! As we went through the neighborhood with very little room for one car, I finally yelled, YOU'RE GOING TO HIT A CAR! at which point he pulled over, got out of the car and demanded that I drive because "You make me nervous." (Of course that was because he made me nervous).

It made me respect those driving instructors so much more. They must be on Valium or something to do that day in and day out.

The upsycho said...

@Virginia I like his assertion that he an intermediate and not a beginner any more. Presumably, he now drives hither and yon with great confidence?

V Yonkers said...

Yes, but I'm still a basket case when he has to go somewhere unfamiliar. He drives to school once a week. However, after he drove to his coach's house which required that he drive through the city in rush hour traffic, then ended up 20 miles away literally in the middle of a corn field, I felt the worst was over. He still is not allowed to drive with anyone in the car and he still needs to get through winter driving on his own (not something I'm looking forward to as we can have quite a bit of snow around here).

Views from Malmesbury said...

My dad and I decided very early on that he was not going to take me out whil I was learning to drive, one of the best decisions ever made I think!. In fact, the only person with the courage was my grandmother - who is now 96 and still courting danger when she can get away with it. The official driving instructor was a nervous chain-smoker. Admittedly he did say it was nothing to do with me, his day job was as air-traffic controller and they were all strung out, nervous wrecks. Somehow that didn't make me feel good; leastways, I didn't travel on a plane until 5 years later.