As I waved goodbye to my daughter, she began the long drive from Southend back to Bournemouth.
It all seems to have gone by in a blur – being a parent. On one level its taken such a long time and on another – its all flown by so fast. What an interesting journey, being a Mother and watching your own child, take lessons, pass their test and drive their own car. In a way, for some, it is a right of passage.
Being out in the car with my daughter as the owner/driver has been a fun and sometimes scary experience, as it was with my son, early on in his driving career – another element I realise of a parent taking their hands off the wheel, as the child takes ever more control of their life. A letting go. A handing over.
It led me to thinking about the triumphs and traumas of learning to drive, so I asked Chloe what she thought they were, from her very recent experience.
” Definitely the greatest triumph is being independent behind the wheel. Not needing anyone to show me, help me or direct me. It’s all up to me and I can go where I want. I now have a car to put everything in. I don’t have to carry so much with me anymore. Road-tripping and exploring is great fun. Even going through your first drive through is great!”
“Ok. Tell me more?” I said to her. “What about the responsibilities that come with it.”
“All the things you have to pay for. Tax, insurance, repairs.” She shrugged her shoulders “This is one of those things which comes from owning a car and you have to get on with it.”
That’s a fact I thought. There is a lot of responsibility – from keeping an eye on your tyre tred – to making sure your car is insured, taxed, roadworthy and full of petrol. These are all aspects of car ownership which need to be taken into account.
“It can be scary, but there’s not much you can do. You just have to pay it.” Chloe told me.
Listening to the confidence building in my daughter, due to her getting out and about behind the wheel, reminded me of the importance of just doing it. When you pass you need to get out and drive. If you don’t do it – you can lose it. The confidence that is – if not always the ability.