She got a car.
She's had her license since pretty much the day she turned 16 (a year ago)...
(or because buying a 3rd car would mean cleaning out the garage so it would fit).
But after a month of crazy and conflicting rehearsal schedules between the Things, and because my car is pretty much the size of a Winnebago and she cannot drive it without taking out a jogger or a biker or a mailbox or two, and (most importantly) because she's an awesome kid, we caved.
The other night as she was ready to pull out of the dealership, by herself - in her own car (and by 'her own car' I mean 'the car she did not pay for therefore officially belongs to Husband and me which we will remind her of many, many, many times') - she gave me a gigantic hug that was so tight it squeezed a few tears out (at least that's the story I'm going with) and all I could manage to say to her was, "Be safe...be safe....be smart."
But as I was driving home I thought of so many other pearls of motherly wisdom I wish I'd imparted on her before she drove away (which now that I'm thinking about it might be the reason she peeled out of there so fast).
She's a great kid. A responsible and smart kid. A kid who knows not to text and drive and has pledged never to do so, and I am confident that she won't. I trust her. But because there are still a few other ways I'm fearful she could get into some scrapes (literally), I've made her this handy list of tips (that I may or may not have already printed and laminated and glued to her dashboard).
1. Do not sing and drive.
Let me remind you that Thing 1 is a theatre kid. She loves to belt out a good show tune in the car, and I worry she'll get so into imagining she's raised above the stage holding a broomstick while giant fans blow her dress around that she'll blow through a red light. Can a car 'Defy Gravity'? Uh, you bet.
2. Do not eat and drive.
Other than the obvious lodging of a french-fry in your esophagus and causing you to choke and eventually pass out while your car veers into oncoming traffic, there's the pesky crumbs and grease that will litter the spotless interior.
3. Do not drink and drive.
With this kid, I'm not talking about Boone's Farm and Peppermint Schnapps. But still, there's the definite potential to open a can of Coke and have it spray you straight in the eyes causing momentary blindness, in which time your car can veer into oncoming traffic.
4. Do not listen to British boys sing and drive.
In fact, don't even think about British boys and drive.
5. Do not talk and drive.
Although this is a kid who looks horrified when I remind her not to answer her phone in the car if it rings ("....um, pretty sure that's illegal at my age, Mom" ...and she's being serious), I don't even want her talking to her passengers. All it takes is one good story about a British boy band to distract her attention from the road and drive into a ditch. Or a deer.
6. Do not sneeze and drive.
In that split second you cannot control your eyes closing (you guessed it) - car into oncoming traffic. BAM! Lights out.
7. If you do sneeze (and are lucky enough to live to tell about it), do not reach for a kleenex.
Rock the Fu Manchu snot-stache until you can pull over safely to blow your nose.
8. Memorize this list.
Even thought it will be adhered to your dash.
And if maybe you are thinking I'm going a tiny bit overboard and being a tiny bit overly cautious, just you wait. When your kid(s) get behind the wheel and are at the mercy of the thousands of idiots driving around singing, eating, sneezing, talking, and - even worse - texting &/or drinking (and I'm not talking about Coke), you will do everything in your power to control it.
But you can't.
All you can do is hope and pray that there are a thousand other mothers who have glued the same list to their kids' dashboards, and that the irresponsible and idiotic adults driving around somehow avoid your child.
Or ride shotgun with her until she's 60.
Don't think I haven't considered it.