Each Friday, at least for the foreseeable future, I will be sharing a blog post from the past. These will be posts from other places that I have retained the rights once again, or from this blog. I hope you enjoy these entries. I know they are ones that have made me smile.
This post originally was posted June 2, 2012.
There are few things more significant in the life of a teenager than that monumental rite of passage, also known as getting a drivers license. Last week, my husband and I joined the fraternity of parents who have a teenage driver. While we knew this day would eventually come to pass, we also thought we were well prepared. After all, we had studied and drilled road rules and driving regulations and laws until my son could recite the manual. He took several practice tests to overcome his anxiety of taking the actual test, and we knew he knew this stuff inside and out. When he missed one, we discussed it. When your soon to be driver has Aspergers, this can be very interesting.
“I got an 83%. I guess I am 17% dangerous.”
“What did you miss?”
“They asked if a pedestrian was at a street corner without a crosswalk, who has the right of way?”
“What did you say?”
“I do. There isn’t a crosswalk. They can’t cross the street.”
“The pedestrian always has the right of way.”
“But there isn’t a crosswalk.”
“Doesn’t matter. Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way. What are you gonna do? Run them over?”
“No. I guess that makes sense.”
By the time we were ready to take the actual test, we all felt comfortable. What on earth could possibly go wrong? Little did I know I was about to experience an episode of What NOT to say in the DMV.
“May I help you?”
“Yes.” I said. “We are here to get a learners permit.”
“Ok. Come right over here and let’s check your eyes.”
Chandler sat down and looked into the DMV version of a viewfinder.
“Ok, read the 3rd line down.”
“Do you see the 3rd line?”
“What does it say?”
“Don’t you know?”
“No, she needs you to read it outloud.” I interjected.
“Why? Doesn’t she know her numbers?”
“She just needs to know that you are seeing the right ones. Just read them outloud.”
He then rattled off the series of numbers.
“Ok, great. Now, which sign is the closet to you?”
“The stop sign.”
“Ok. Now which sign would you come up to last if you were driving?”
“If you were driving, which sign would you come upon last?”
“But I’m not driving.”
“Chandler, which sign is the furthest away?”
“The one where the guy is in a wheelchair. I can’t remember what it is called. But you don’t park there.”
A few more questions and answers later, the nice lady announced, “You have great eyes.”
“I know. Not like my mom. She is almost blind.”
The nice lady looked inquisitively at me. Mortified, I knew she was wondering how on earth I could be the responsible adult in the car with my son as he drove his 50 practice hours so he could get his intermediate license. I weakly smiled and explained I was having an eye surgery the next week and would be good as new soon. She nodded in understanding, just before my son continued on.
“One time when we were going to soccer practice, my mom ran over a kid.”
With a frown, the nice lady asked, “Oh no. Was that because you couldn’t see?”
I again weakly smiled in complete mortification and knew that my next answer would determine if I was leaving with a drivers license intact. “No. That had nothing to do with it. It was 8 years ago in Idaho. We were looking for a parking space and I was barely moving when the boy darted out in front of me. I barely bumped him. He got a lecture from the nice policeman who assured me it wasn’t my fault and his mother apologized to me. I refused to drive for a few days because I was traumatized by the incident.”
“Oh. Well, let’s have you go over to that computer over there now, Chandler and take your written test.”
I slinked out to the hallway to wait. I wasn’t sure I could handle any more humiliation on this trip.
He passed. We both left with a license to drive. I don’t know who was more relieved…Chandler or me. On the way home we discussed why we shouldn’t air mother’s dirty laundry in the DMV. Here’s hoping he remembers that in several months when we have to go back for his intermediate license. I just may have recovered by then…