Michaela has her L- plates or learners licence and it is such a mission here in Australia for her to get her licence. She has to drive for 120 hours and it has to be documented in a log book each time she drives and signed off by the instructor ( who would be me!!). Then she can only take the test to get a P- licence (probationary licence) which she will drive on for a good few years before being able to get her full licence. I am being very brave and attempting to teach her to drive. I confess I am not the calmest person and each time we go out I wonder why it is me doing the teaching and not hubby who would probably be far better at it than I am. Nonetheless, if we are ever going to get to 120 hours we have to start somewhere.
Fortunately my daughter is doing quite well. We do not have an automatic car so she has no choice but to learn to drive in a manual (which is normal for the South African driver but not so normal for the Kiwis and Aussies who can choose either as a number of cars are automatic here). Our biggest challenge has been to find a big open area for her to just get the hang of taking off, changing some gears and stopping confidently without having to negotiate traffic. This is not as easy as it sounds. Mostly we have driven up and down some quiet streets just learning a few basics and she has managed quite well.
I on the other hand sometimes feel I need a shot of brandy or some other fiery liquid at the end of each session. I am painfully aware of trying not to sound panicked or to shout at her when she makes a mistake, but at the same time I want to get over the initial basics so that I feel we can venture out a little more. In some ways I can’t believe that I am teaching her – why me?? I always vowed that Hubby would be the driving instructor. Where is he?? Clever man just makes sure that he is unavailable come driving lesson time!!
So I am learning some new things about myself – I can be patient when I try VERY, VERY hard, I can be nice on the outside when I am freaking out on the inside, I am enjoying spending this time with my daughter – we are bonding in a new way, I am getting old after all (because somehow I still thought of myself as 18 – that has been blown out of the water with a teen who is driving now) and lastly that one day I will look back on my effort and reap a reward when she is old enough to lift all the other kids to school and I can relax in my dressing gown with a skinny latte at home instead of doing the school run!!
This is the dream for my daughter one day – to own her own mini Cooper – she loves minis.
Only 118 hours and 41 minutes to go!!!