Yesterday Aly reached a milestone in her young life, one I had begun to think she might forgo entirely. We went to the DMV, and she took—and passed—her learner’s permit test.
This has been an issue in our household for a while. She’s 17 years old, and has been procrastinating on learning to drive. She took so long that I finally appealed to her Alaska chauvinism. Alaska requires that a learner have a permit for a minimum of 6 months before getting a driver’s license. Put it off too long, I reasoned, and you’ll be away at college before you’re eligible. That could mean that your first driver’s license might be from some other state! That got her motivated.
For a long time, she planned to put off learning to drive indefinitely. Eventually, she realized that every trip to town for her needs required a parent, which began to seem like an imposition to her. She also reasoned that, should she ever decide to date, knowing how to drive would be a prudent safety measure. Still, she put off going into town and taking the test. I think I’ve said it before: she’s not your typical teenager.
She began her education by switching her favored seat from the passenger side of the car to the seat behind the driver, to get a better perspective on the view from that side of the car. We discussed some “ground rules” for learning, establishing that she’s okay with me teaching her driving as the lessons come to me. I got her to agree to tell me if this grows tiresome.
She also got some actual driving experience while visiting my college friend, Katie, on her horse farm in Oregon back in 2009. Recently, she moved her aunt’s SUV about 10 feet in a parking lot. Tiny steps!
I’d bugged her to learn to drive before winter came. Lucky for her, we’ve been having frequent thaws, so the roads are often bare, if she works up the nerve to try driving on them.
We’re looking for some way to get her some driving instruction that would qualify her for a lower insurance rate. Apparently, nothing like that’s available in Haines, so we may not be able to swing it.