Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Well, she passed. My baby can now get into a car, merge onto the highway, and risk her life driving like the rest of us - all by her self. Just yesterday, she was my baby, so I don't see how this happened. Along with the bitter, there is the sweet. She can now drive herself to piano lessons, perhaps once in awhile drive her sister to art class.

I fought the adrenaline rush as we entered the courthouse, as I was about to encounter the "no pass/no drive" requirements and how that is administered to home-based learners (aka homeschoolers). By law, we are a private school and required only to submit a letter stating that our child has passing grades. It is clearly outlined in the law. Obviously, county clerks are only following direction of the elected official clerk, who is not a lawyer. I expected dull eyes and shaking heads, telling me that I needed a letter from the Board of Education (isn't if ironic that the sound "bored" is paired with education?) verifying that she is in good standing (like they'd know how she is doing).

The line snaked out the door and down the hall. Great, I was going to have an audience for my great debate. I did have that letter, which only verified that I had indeed written a letter last August stating that I was going to homeschool. Now, I had a letter saying I wrote a letter. It does have an impressive embossed seal that the administrative assistant squeezed onto it. I got it as back up insurance, in case they were adamant about having it and so Lauren wouldn't have to wait.

We quickly discovered that our difficulty was not going to be about homeschooling, rather we needed an appointment. Garrr....I'd missed that somehow, but we managed to get the last appointment of the day. We thanked them for fitting us in, and left. No mention of the letter or qualifications, despite a sign outside the door saying that proof of good academic standing was required. Perhaps the test administrator would ask? No. No mention was ever made of it.

Our next difficulty was Eugene, our van. Eugene is like someone that has lived to 100 years. While they may still get around fine, it is doubtful that everything works as it once did. Eugene, like some of us, has a little electrical problems now and again. His blinker to the left is frantic, not the steady blink-blink-blink you'd expect. Little did I know that it also meant that the outside front blinker doesn't work at all. Can't use this vehicle, the woman apologetically explained.

I begged for 10 minutes, time to run home to get the truck. It works! But oh, Lauren would have to parallel park the truck, something we'd not practiced and difficult for even experienced drivers. And the smell! Oh, the smell! Our truck is our farm truck, our drive our horses and dogs truck. And it leaks a tiny bit, okay a lot, when it rains and it has a rather musty odor. And the tester was wearing black pants! Can you say "dog hair"? All the other candidates had arrived in new cars.

Still, we hurried home and as Lauren drove, I covered the seat with a towel and rolled down the windows. The tester was there waiting, and I apologized for our vehicles. "My husband drives our good car," I said, trying to dispel the notion that when we finished, we'd go home to our trailer with a refrigerator on the front porch. They drove off. I sat watching clouds until they returned. She passed, with the tester telling Lauren that she wasn't sure she could have parallel parked the truck.

And so, from a little toddler who would stand and sing us songs, to a young woman that can drive alone, she continues to grow up and away.


pita-woman said...

So laughing at the smell (my husbands SUV) and all the pet hair (my SUV). Our good car is still sitting on the dealers lot, awaiting our purchase. ;)

Ahh, hard to believe that little girl I first saw umpteen years ago, sitting outside the ring at obedience school is already driving.

growingupartists said...

Looking forward to reading more.

Packsaddle said...


Good for her!

Her accomplishment warrants a tasteful gift.

Like a lint brush, or something.

jacobithegreat said...

yay you name your cars too!
my first one was pedro and my new one is jake.


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