Fledgling on four wheels
ANNA is singing and whistling. I think she’s nervous—i certainly am. Sitting in the passenger seat of the VW Polo, as each of my children learned to drive, has been a rite of passage for me, if not for them. I think I’m becoming a better teacher, but perhaps Anna is a more natural driver than her brothers. She at least appears to listen to some of my advice. I’ve taught myself to wear a poker face, occasionally supplanted by a fixed grin, as we brush a curb. This is no place to show what you’re truly feeling. At all times, my right arm hovers above the handbrake like a cowboy waiting for a shootout.
Criticism, I discovered, must only be used as the very last resort, perhaps when rolling back into the car behind you during a failed hill start. It’s likely to backfire badly and a bout of shouting will ensue before it’s proved beyond any reasonable doubt to have been your fault in the first place.
However, driving lessons mean only one thing in the end, especially if you live in the countryside: it’s the start of real freedom for your children and the first steps to leaving the nest. There’s sure to be a mix of emotions when those L plates come off for the last time. MH