Wednesday, January 03, 2007

She Passed

Before me is a booklet.
It is from the Oregon Department of Transportation and is called The Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving.
On the cover is a photo of a car with a woman (motherly-looking, 30-something, hair a bit frazzly) in the passenger seat with one hand pointing forward like "over there" and the other hand on the back of the driver’s headrest.
A young man (16-ish, black t-shirt) is driving. He is looking in the direction the woman is pointing.

There are many things wrong with this picture.
First of all, the young man is actually looking where the woman is pointing.
They look way too relaxed.
And both of them are smiling waaaaaaaay too big.
And then there’s that hand on the back of the headrest. . . and the young man isn’t grimacing and crinching his shoulders like, "Would you mind??"

Yes, Emily got her permit yesterday.

I gave birth five times and then I told Paul that he can have the next one.
But I taught only two teenagers how to drive before I said, enough, that’s it, Paul, it’s all yours after this.

However, I am happy for Emily. She worked long and hard for this and overcame a lot of fears and discouragement.

She will be a good driver if she can ever remember which is left and which is right.

(Edit--Paul read this and logically but charitably pointed out to me that he actually spent more time teaching Matt and Amy to drive than I did, since they would drive to school with him. I told him I see his point but the trauma I went through distorted the proportions for me. He recognized that I endured a lot more trauma with this process than he did.)

Quote of the Day:
"If I ever get a tattoo it’ll be an L on my left hand and an R on my right."


  1. Congratulations Emily! My sister is 45 and still can't keep left and right apart! If you tell her where to turn, you have to point and say, "That way!" Pauline

  2. Good going Emily!!

  3. aaaaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!! i'm scared! jk! WAY TO GO EMILY!!!!!!

  4. oops, that was me.

  5. I have to say Dad is right, Mom. You never drove with me until I'd had many hours of practice with him. I'm sure it was traumatic for you anyway, though.

  6. When I read the title of this post, I thought, "Oh no! Somebody has died and passed away." Then I read the post and didn't see anyone dying in it. Then the correlation between the expected content (dying) and the actual content (a new driver on the road) struck me.

    I'm sure you'll do great, Emily, and that no dying will be involved. One thing I tried to tell my Mom was that if anyone was going to die as a result of my driving, it would probably be from her nonsensically having a heart attack.

  7. Okay, here are a few fool proof ways to tell left from right.

    Give yourself a thumbs up gesture while holding your hand in front of you. If your thumb makes the vertical part of the letter "L" it is your left hand. If it looks more like a backwards "L" then it is your right hand.

    Of course, this doesn't work too well if you are dyslexic. Also, it can be dangerous for a new driver to do while approaching a busy intersection, and you don't really know which lane you want to be in at the moment.

    So, the next method is better for new drivers. Remember that your parents and the government have finally LEFT you drive. That is the side of the car you are sitting on. The parent who is nerovusly sitting in the passenger seat is always RIGHT, no matter what, so appropriately they are sitting on the right side of the car.

    I hope these suggestions will be helpful for Emily.


  8. Thanks for all the comments. Hans, I'm not sure the word 'nonsensically' is appropriate here. Ahem. All my near-heart-attacks with Matt and Amy were completely justified.
    And Merle, I made sure Emily read your wise words.

  9. Know what you mean...I should really have pearly white hair by now,or straggly grey hair.And the 3rd one is coming up in March to learn...i need to work on the stiff upper lip awhile.

  10. the tattoo idea isn’t such a bad one. like most little boys I had a great fascination with knives and carving. unfortunately there were times when I carved more than the wood. later in life when it became important to differentiate between my two hands I conquered the task by simply remembering which scar went with which hand.

  11. Congratulations Emily! And just so u know I think maybe the right and left mix up is a Yoder qwirk I still do it sometimes

  12. I like Emily's Quote :) Merideth has some good advise...and another reminder I use, is, It is right (correct:)to write with my right hand....or is she left-handed?

  13. We're teaching our young people to drive right now, too. and my husband says to me,"It's like you're afraid to die or something." I said,"I'm not afraid to die, but I AM afraid of pain!" Can't anyone identify? :) PC in VA