Friday, June 05, 2009

Fair warning

My baby has her learner's permit! 

It's ok, I can deal with this but it does lend itself to a certain number of wistful reminisces about when she (and her siblings) were smaller and under control.  Just another way that they grow up and you have to let them walk out and learn about the world on their own.

So, Friend Husband is ill with whatever the creeping crud is that I've been dealing with for 3 weeks (I told you that kissing would get you in trouble!)  So I volunteered to take Sarah to get her license and to take the twins so he could rest.  We had to wait for the UPS guy to deliver her birth certificate, which he did at around 2:45.  Then we had to go to the doctor's office to get her shot record.  Why?  Because, somewhere along the way, I have misplaced Sarah's birth certificate and Social Security card.  Yeah.  So the first order of business was to get another one ordered AND to get a numident form for today (that's the piece of paper that has the SSN on it and is proof enough to the BMV that you are you and this is your own number).  Oh, and without my asking, the clerk fixed the error that some clerk made 16 years ago on her original card, which I tried to fix at the time but was unable to because a birth certificate was not proof of spelling. 

The SSA was remarkably empty, especially for a Friday.  Those of you who have been with me for a while may recall the last visit we made to the SS building, strangely enough, with the same people involved.  It was a lot more hectic, I assure you.  I was grateful for the relative peace and quickness with which the transaction was made because I knew we had a lot to do and little time in which to do it.

Next stop was a few miles up the road at the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles).  On the way there, Sarah and I were talking about the driving test she'll have to take to get her "real" license and how they're given by state troopers.  She did not know this and was a little startled by the information.  I told her that they have absolutely no sense of humor and it's better to not even attempt to make a joke around them.  We agreed that it would be more comfortable for her if her trooper was a woman but I did not hold out much hope of that.  All of the examiners were BIG men when I got my license.  Lo and behold, every single trooper in the building today was female.  They still had no sense of humor, though.

It occurred to me, as I watched Sarah navigate such an alien situation, that she is not very well-prepared for this.  She didn't seem to get that the trooper wouldn't take her entire envelope full of documents and that she needed to get them all out and hand them over.  She was also amazed that she had to answer questions about moving violations when she didn't even have a license.  Ah, the innocence of youth.  That I like. 

Anyway, she got her vision test done, then her actual exam, after which we were directed to another building nearby to get the actual license.  When we walked in, I had to stifle a deep sigh.  It was filled with some of my least favorite people:  mostly-undressed teenaged girls.  I won't go any further but it was depressing to see.  We went over and sat in a part of the room where no one else was.

By this time, the twins were bouncing off the walls.  And sitting on one another.  I finally told them that they could go outside and run up and down in front of the building (not the main entrance, interestingly), as long as they stayed on the brick walkway and did not get off.  They found this to be most amusing, especially the fact that they could see us inside the building.  I don't know what's so stunning about that but it kept them occupied.


We were finally called up and Sarah gave her papers to the clerk, who then asked for my license, as the co-signer.  You know you've become an adult when you have to co-sign for something for your children.  The clerk then asked me if I wanted to renew my license, since it was due to expire in about 12 days.  I mentally reviewed my un-made-up face, minimalist hairstyle, and nondescript clothes and internally said, "No, thank you."  Externally I said, "Sure."  So we both ended up filling out forms, which I had to sign all around, and I ended up writing the check.  We were sent down to another area to wait for the photo to be taken for the license. 

Of course, at this time, the twins had to visit the necessary.  Apparently, after I closed the door to the room, they started calling for me.  It seemed to discombobulate everyone that I was not out there and the lady attempted to put Sarah's photo on my license.  Sadly, she got it all figured out after I came out of the restroom with the twins and put my ugly mug on my own license and Sarah's lovely mug on hers.  (Yes, this was hands down the ugliest DL photo I have ever taken.  Serves me right for refusing to wear makeup, I guess.)

We walked out with our warm, newly-laminated pieces of American culture clutched in our hands.  I paid careful attention to my driving on the way home, trying without success to imagine Sarah in the driver's seat instead.  This is just another step in letting go of my child and I'm trying to rein in my sadness and protectiveness of her.  Friend Husband is flat-out excited.  He had her out for a "spin", if you can call pulling up and down the driveway an actual spin as soon as he got home.  Why he is dealing with this so well is beyond me, but I'm glad he is.

So Sarah is now an officially licensed driver in the state of Ohio.  You have been warned.


Gina said...

Thanks for giving the run down on how this process works. We are navigating uncharted waters.

Collin has practiced driving a couple times in the school parking lot. Last night, we all were in the car (coming home from a ride on the bike trail). He did pretty well but I had to laugh at Sarah's FB comment about fast starts and stops. Yep sounds familiar!

stringsofpurls said...

Men always are better at this I'm convinced. Amy will be getting her temps soon. I taught the first two. My husband is responsible for the last two. I can't take it anymore...

acceptancewithjoy said...

Congratulations Sarah!

It took Marissa three times to pass the test to get her permit. She was dumb-founded that she had to answer stupid questions too. In her mind, in order to learn to drive, she needed to know where the key goes, where the gas and breaks are and how to steer. How dare they ask about rules of the road!

She failed her first behind the wheel test too. She hit the pole during the parallel park. And she went off, "He didn't even help me. A teacher should..." I interrupted. Dear child, he isn't a teacher and he doesn't care if you have a license. His job is to make sure that all licensed drivers are safe. He works for me, that lady walking down the sidewalk and the mother loading her children into their car seats.

She passed it the next week. She drove for 2-days and then her keys were put on restriction for 2-weeks for breaking the "no unnecessary side trips" and "no passengers." Bummer. The keys were paroled three days early. She got them back yesterday.