Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Welp, it’s official. As of the conclusion of her last behind-the-wheel lesson yesterday, teh Eldest Gel was granted her provisional driver’s license.**
This morning, ol’ Robbo watched teh gel sail out of the Port Swiller Manor driveway on the way to school – in the dark and the fog – on her first ever solo flight. Mission accomplished, she later celebrated by taking her friend to the mall and a park, and then driving herself to her tutor and stopping to pick up some dinner on the way home.
Watching her tail lights fade into the gloom, I tried to recall my own first solo. Truth be told, I can’t. Searching back, I recall very clearly how the Old Gentleman taught me to drive stick on the mountain trails of a ranch in northwest Bexar County when I was about twelve. I also recall the deadly boring driver’s ed program I went through in the summah between my sophomore and junior years of high school. Heck, I even still remember the test I had to go through with the state DMV before I got my license in January, eh, 1982? But I don’t recall the first time I was behind the wheel all by myself.
Maybe I was so used to the idea already that it didn’t register. I’m guessing things will be a bit different for teh gel.
One thing that is sinking in with us, albeit slowly: Now that teh Eldest has wheels, we can, at least in terms of logistics, finally after all these years switch back from zone coverage to man. Robbo likey.
* A blatant reference to Roald Dahl’s autobiography of the same name. You should read it if you haven’t. Dahl entered the world just in time to witness the last gasps of teh British Empire. His descriptions of Kiplingeque characters in East Africa are quite informative and amusing. On the other hand, his tales of encounters with green mamba snakes there have firmly resolved ol’ Robbo never ever to set foot on that continent for any reason whatsoever. And Dahl wound up as a fighter pilot in the RAF covering the Brit evacuation of Greece in the early days of the War. Fascinating stuff.
**According to local rules, she doesn’t get her O-Ficially license until she (and we) appear before the local state magistrate in a hearing at which he or she makes it so. Frankly, I approve of this kind of formality, as I think it hammers into teh kids’ heads the gravity of their new-won responsibilities. More on this as it unfolds.