I vividly recall the day I got my driver's licence, which was December 8th, 1993. I was super-stressed before the exam, not only because of all the different techniques I needed to master, but also because I feared the potentially slippery road conditions on this very cold, near-winter day (temperatures reached a high of +2C according to the database at Environment Canada).
As it turned out, I passed with flying colours. When I exited the SAAQ office, I was proudly waving the piece of paper I had coveted for so long.
That was 21 years ago. Thinking about it makes me nostalgic. I was still fresh out of high school, heading toward what I then hoped would be a brilliant career as a respiratory therapist, even though my passion was writing. Life had other plans for me, and I quickly stumbled into the world of literature and journalism.
The realization that I have been legally driving for over 20 years didn't make me fall off my chair; on the contrary, I was quite Zen about it. However, another thought crossed my mind and hit me like a huge slap on the face: My eldest son will take an exam to get his own driver's licence less than two months from now!
He may have outgrown me in size, but he's still my baby. Yet, pretty soon, he too will have the right to drive a car (under supervision at first, but still), and I'll have to share my driver's seat with him. I know I can trust my big boy, and I know my 107-horsepower Nissan Versa Note isn't likely to bring out his inner Sebastian Vettel, but I can't shake off these slight apprehensions I have about handing him the keys.
He may get caught speeding or running a red light, and if that happens we'll sit down and have another chat about safe driving that includes the dangers of texting behind the wheel or hitting the road after one too many drinks. After that, I think I'll just have to let it go and really trust him -- like my parents did with me two decades ago.
On the bright side, my husband and I will have another driver with whom to take turns behind the wheel when we pay a visit to my good friend who lives nearly 3,000 kilometres away in Saskatchewan!
What about you? Did you get a little scared when your kids got their driver's licences?