Another day, another teenage milestone. The boy turned 16 on Thursday, which didn’t lend itself very well to getting his driver’s license on his actual birthday. We planned to go this morning (Saturday), although that plan was jeopardized by a slight snowstorm yesterday. Fortunately by this morning the roads were mostly cleared and we decided to take our chances.
I was selfishly anxious for him to get his license because it means fewer outings to buy supplemental food for him. The stomach of a teenage boy is a bottomless pit- it’s fascinating. Now he can get himself to Chick-fil-A for a spicy chicken sandwich after he’s finished a home cooked meal (we’ve practiced the drive-thru windows).
We started our outing by dropping my 17 year old daughter off at track practice on our way to the DMV. She was in a surly mood because she could see her exclusive access to the car coming to an end. I asked the boy if he wanted to drive to get warmed up for his road test, but he declined, which concerned me a little. I tried to be a model driver on the way over, although it’s too tiring for my hands to be at 10:00 and 2:00 fulltime. I had visited Starbucks before we left, remembered to bring a book to kill time, had my checkbook because the State of Illinois apparently does not believe in credit cards, and off we went.
The great thing about going to the DMV after a snowstorm is that it’s not at all crowded. I was temporarily panicked about the “NO FOOD OR DRINK SIGNS BEYOND THIS POINT” signs at the door, but I put my coffee cup in my jacket pocket (it’s my own cup with a lid that shuts- I was all good). We successfully presented all the correct paperwork, which is not easy AT ALL (and just so you know- they don’t even look at the record of driving hours that I militantly make the kids log every time they drive), and took our car around back for the boy to take the road test.
Now, we did get 6” of snow yesterday, but it stopped last evening and I would say the roads are about 85 – 90% cleared. There is the occasional slushy corner or the jerk who points the snow blower into the street, but I thought he’d be fine. However, before I was sent back inside to wait, the evaluator sternly informed him that if he slipped or skidded at all he would automatically fail. That seems a little harsh, no? I’m not sure it’s much within your control at times.
Once back inside, I took a seat in one of those comfy molded plastic chairs. Even though there are approximately 200 chairs for people waiting for various tests, if you are only accompanying someone you are sent to a very small and crowded group of about 20 chairs. There I sat, and after a bit I took my coffee out of my pocket for a surreptitious sip every now and then.
About 15 minutes later, I saw the boy re-enter the facility and head toward the picture taking area, which I know from experience means he had passed. Yay! Around that time, I felt like my pants were a little wet somehow. I stood up to realize with horror that my cup had been dripping out of my pocket and I was literally sitting in a puddle of my own latte.
What to do? To ask for help would be admitting that I had actively ignored the signs. The lady next to me stared with a look of “What are you going to do about this mess?” Not that I owned her an explanation, but I said something like, “I’ll be right back to clean this up,” as if I had a car full of cleaning supplies or even knew where the boy had parked my car. Or had my keys. I fled the facility, having no intention of going back in.
I tried calling the boy, who had smartly turned his phone off so he didn’t receive a super important text while taking his road test, so I had no choice but to stand outside with my latte soaked bottom and wait for him to finish (note: it was 17 degrees out). Fortunately he finished quickly.
And here I sit, jeans and jacket in the washing machine, the boy snuggled back on the couch, probably to get a bit more sleep since he got up earlier than he would have liked. Aside from the coffee blip, it was an amazingly smooth experience. Glad my last child won’t get her permit for another 16 months. They’ll probably have a “Wanted” picture of me hanging at the DMV for at least the next year or so.
Filed under: Parenting