I am the unbalanced force *

Occasionally, I confront the reality that my future is limited. You know when you’re young and you think you can be anything at all? Doctor? Ballerina? Rocket Scientist?

I know better now. 

Boy, do I know better now.

I can never, ever, ever be a driving teacher.  Ever.  Never. 

One of my children has begun learning to drive.  He’s paid for three driving lessons, a total of six hours of instruction.  But, of course, he has to practice.  Which is where I come in.

I believe that during every drive he’s made with me in the passenger seat he’s considered murdering me.  That is scary because it would be super easy to kill me by swerving into oncoming traffic, especially when turning left.  Actually, the easier, muss-free way to kill me would be to just GIVE ME A HEART ATTACK!  THE LIGHT IS RED!  STOP STOP STOP STOP!

Listen.  Under the best of circumstances, I am a horrible passenger.  I readily admit this.  My husband has been driving since he was sixteen years old and has never had an accident.  And yet, when I’m riding with him, I assume that he will crash into any car we happen to be following.  I know this is a personality flaw of mine.  I lack trust and possibly accurate depth perception.  But I can’t help it.  I’m a nervous nelly when someone else is driving.  I expect to die.  To crash and then die.  But mostly to crash.

And so, this is a particular problem when a jumpy new driver is behind the wheel.  Today he scolded me for my tone of voice but in my defense, the light was red and we did not seem to be respecting that particular law of physics which insists that an object in motion stays in motion unless the BRAKE IS APPLIED.

Seriously.  I might not survive this part of motherhood.

So if you could all stay off the roads for the next year or two, I’d appreciate it very much.

(I thought about making a sign for the back of the minivan that would say “STUDENT DRIVER * TERRIFIED MOTHER” but I am pretty sure my son would not be amused.)


*Newton’s first law of motion:  An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.


5 thoughts on “I am the unbalanced force *

  1. I understand, especially since I do most of the driving. When I don’t …

    I have come to a partial explanation. We all drive differently. So, when I may be braking, someone else might not be. S/he may be in perfect control, but it makes one nervous. During a trip as a passenger across Toronto I almost lost it. They ended up putting me way in the back of the van, and even then I kept my eyes closed most of the time.


  2. OH MY i can relate to this!! I always try to be the driver and when riding with someone, i try to keep my eyes off the road. of course being in the car with a new driver would not be a wise choice!! haha
    hang there we need to pray for each other!!!


  3. This calls for your husband’s help – or do you not trust him to be a good supportive passenger while the student driver is driving? Oh dear – I will hold my breath for you, and know you will deserve BIG amounts of chocolate when you have survived this new phase……………….

    I am sorry – SO sorry – it scares me, just to think of it. If I were in the passenger seat, I do believe I would be screaming so loudly all the other drivers would be able to hear, and perhaps they would park their cars for the duration………….just to stop my screams!


  4. Hi my name is Julie and I survived teaching/training 3 teenage drivers within 3 years. I feel like there should be some kind of support group for the teacher/trainer.
    My mom taught all five of us and I remember with my oldest brother her putting her foot up on the dashboard of the car and pushing down on her “imaginary” brake, screaming STOP! She also survived. Like I said maybe a support group 🙂


  5. I am doing the same thing with my 15 yo son. My daughter was much easier. I asked him if i could put a sign in the back of the car. He said NO.
    Im glad Im not the only one scared. I think there really should be a sign …. just saying.


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