Well the time has arrived in my life when Mr 16 year old is learning to drive! And...like most 16 year olds, he believes he is already a fantastic driver:) Of course fantastic 16 year old drivers are ready to tackle traffic, teeny weeny roundabouts and deceptive corners perfectly on their second lesson! Fantastic 16 year old drivers are ready to take on the entire trip from Sydney to Bathurst over the Blue Mountains on their third driving lesson! Don't you just love such confidence!?
Am I a nervous wreck?...Not yet!
As we set off to Bathurst on the weekend, Mr 16 year old proudly put his L Plates on the car, adjusted the mirrors, changed my seating and sat proudly behind the wheel of my little B Class Mercedes (at least it is made with an internal roll bar) I think to myself.
Off we go to get some petrol before the trip....driving carefully down the main street of Camden we come across our first roundabout..."Now keep your line and stay in your lane", I say calmly to my son as he promptly attempts to side swipe the white four wheel drive on the outside lane of the roundabout! Keeping inside one's lane really means...move as far over into the other lane as possible so that no one else can be on the roundabout at the same time as you! Thankfully the other driver saw those big yellow L Plates and took evasive action!
With my heart still thumping and many an apologetic smile to the afore mentioned driver we pulled into the servo for some fuel. Phew...first leg of the journey went well!
I gingerly look into the mirror in my sun visor to check for cars who needed to pull off the road as our car grandly took another wide roundabout turn! Needless to say...Mr 16 year old did improve, and, as this was only his second roundabout ever...he was doing just fine. At least he was doing better than me!
Our next hurdle was exiting The Northern Road and merging onto The Great Western Freeway heading towards the Blue Mountains...Think about this...80kph L Plate merging with 110kph traffic... so I calmly say, (well I think I spoke calmly)..."pull over and I will drive from here"...and surprisingly he did with no complaint!
After I navigated the drive over the Blue Mountains, I let my son drive from Lithgow to Bathurst, which went smoothly, until Kelso, which is on the outskirts of Bathurst. Here slow down for the red light was secret code for...maintain speed and brake just as I get to the red light!
Life with a 16 year old Learner driver is fun! I am constantly taken back to my teenage years and learning to drive with my Dad. It is lovely to marvel at the sheer enthusiasm my son has just to get behind the wheel and go for a drive.
I know that he will grow into a mature and sensible driver...and that by the time he gets his P Plates...he will not be like many other P- Platers on the road who believe that they are invincible...Is that just me living my life in fantasy mode? I hope not...