From Permit to License, Part Nine: Setting the Date

There are so many milestones in an 18 year old man’s life, they can often slip by without notice. In the past two months, my son received his college acceptance letter. Then came, in short order, Senior Awards Night at his high school, the AP tests for calculus and chemistry, and last week, Prom and Commencement.

So it was almost an afterthought for him when  he mentioned that, after weeks of delay, he had finally scheduled his driver’s license road exam for mid-July. 

“You’ve got some work to do,” I reminded him, which elicited the now-common eye roll. My oldest knows that dad cares about his welfare, but often wishes dad didn’t worry so much.

Still, I said it would be necessary to step up the number of hours he spends behind the wheel in the weeks ahead, including some remedial work on the basic items every new driver must pass on the Massachusetts license road test. It’s time, I said, to go back to where we started with three-point turns, parallel parking, hill starts and all the rest.

This weekend we will be able to tackle all of these items without distraction. His mother and brothers will be away on a Scouting trip, so it will be our time together. That will mean our usual itinerary of large pancake breakfasts at the diner of our choice, Chinese takeout for dinner, and an excursion to the local short-track to watch a night of racing.  Only this time my son will do most of the driving, and I will be wearing my seat belt extra tight and watching the roads closely from the front passenger seat.

The looming date for the road test means one other deadline is coming up fast on the horizon: In two months, license or no license, my son will be leaving home, and the Bay State, for college. I’m only hoping things will run smoothly and we will be sharing the driving.

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