Having a teen driver has changed all that.
Now that we have a permit holder, who needs to log hours and is practicing for his license, my new position has been moved into the passenger seat. And sometimes the backseat.
Being a "backseat driver" is something that comes naturally for me (see the control issues above). I'll stomp an imaginary brake and hold onto the window if someone driving isn't doing it to suit my fancy. And will usually make a comment too, especially if it is a family member driving. As such, I was a little worried at how I would react to Noah at wheel.
I think I've surprised us both.
Maybe it is because he very calm and level-headed at the wheel but I feel comfortable with him. In the beginning, I was grabbing my side window a bit, until he told me that made him nervous. I've learned to control my own reflexes and tone of voice, to keep him steady when redirection is needed.
It's been a learning process for both of us but the ride time has been wonderful bonding time. He is no longer nose deep in a cell phone and I'm on alert to help him watch the crazies on the road. We've had some great conversations and opportunities for life lessons.
The other day a pickup came barreling out of a gas station so fast he was tail-spinning. Noah watches, shakes his head and sighs.
"These kids today..." he says.
I chuckle inside at his aged wisdom but am so very proud of him. He comments how he can't understand why people want to drive recklessly,especially his generation. Or with a cell phone.
"I'm multi-tasking like 15 things just to keep this car on the road," he states while driving. "I can't imagine trying to look down at a telephone too!"
Although he is ever-ready to jump in the drivers seat, he has also declined driving in areas he's not yet comfortable to do so, like morning school traffic.
Yes, please keep that mindset, my son.