Driving Mr Daisy

In South Africa kids have to be 18 before they can get a driver’s permit.  And even if they get it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can drive, it merely means that they passed an assessment that tested their ability to parallel park without any other cars present, not stalling the vehicle and keeping the car on the road at the required legal speed.  This test doesn’t teach them the subtle nuances of driving that a person acquire over many years.

The important driving skills like how to flick a bird at the stupid driver who cuts you off and which are the appropriate swear words to use when the driver in the fast lane is either looking for parking or just simply prefers to drive at the speed of a dying snail.  Not to mention the important ability of selecting a great playlist in preparation for a road trip.

Irrespective of what Dude may know or doesn’t know about driving, he still managed to pass the test last week on his first attempt, and no-one was more surprised proud than his dad.  He is now a legal driver on the roads of the world because contrary to popular belief, a South African driver’s permit does allows you to drive ANYWHERE you want to.  Except on the pavement.  The problem with this newfound ability and sense of freedom is that even though he has the legal document to operate a motor vehicle, he is yet to own said motor vehicle.

Now just calm down and here me out before you start blaming me for not providing the child with a car.  The reality of him reaching the legal age for driving in South Africa came at me faster than Superman when he hears Lois is in trouble.  And then the actual date for the test came even faster.  I’m not stupid, I knew he was going for his license, I was the one who had to pay some poor driving instructor who had to sit through the terror and anxiety of teaching him how to drive.  We did the basics but due to the fact that an instructor who leaves claw marks on the dashboard and has difficulty in releasing blood-curdling screams every three minutes should rather quit whilst he is ahead.  Which is what I did. And then I got a professional. And it worked.

Back to the fact that I have a serious problem excepting Dude is growing up.  Wait. What?  Yes I do.  I have a really hard time accepting that the Dude will be leaving the house at the end of the year.  There are so many things happening, very quickly.  He calls these achievements milestones and I call them landmark heartaches.  It’s just easier to ignore them, to be like an ostrich with its head in the sand.  Avoid the inevitable.  I’m trying to ignore how much I am going to miss that damn kid when he’s gone.

Hence my reluctance in getting him a car. I’m a selfish bastard.  I feel like me giving him a car is just me giving him permission to spread his wings a little more, to explore a little further, to be just that little bit more independent.  I’m giving him permission to go and live his life with less of me in it.  And that is probably one of the toughest things a parent will have to do in their entire life.

For the moment he is basically taking over driving duties in our house.  If someone even hints about going somewhere he volunteers to drive.  It’s weird to be the passenger because I still see my boy behind the steering wheel, not the young man who is chatting, listening to music and having the time of his life, as he is Driving Mr Daisy.

But don’t worry, I’ve agreed to go car shopping this weekend. Under duress of course.

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This could have been the best decision of my life

Lately my writing time has been soaked up by a lot of other shi stuff in my life.  It’s not the best excuse but it’s the one I’m using.  I really wish I had more time to write because it’s the one thing that prevents me from kicking random strangers and/or colleagues. The other thing is coffee.  Lots and lots of coffee.  I’ve had more than one anxiety attack lately because my life has been hectic.  Just last week I was googling my symptoms on WebMD and I was either having a mini-stroke or just very hungry.

I have two kids.  *The crowd goes silence in suspense*  These kids are getting older by the minute.  *The audience gasps at another shocking revelation*.   They will be leaving the house soon. *Audience members are leaving as the suspense is becoming too much to bear* Continue reading

Date night is not what it used to be.

date_night_opener

This image was borrowed from yellowscene.com because I googled “date night” and then searched for images and found this really cool pic because I love superheroes and shit and now I have to give credit to the site because I don’t want to get arrested for copyright infringement.

Princess was on a boat cruise over the weekend as part of a school tour for the top academic achievers of each grade.  She obviously takes after me… Seeing that it was our twenty-first wedding anniversary last Thursday, I knew this weekend had serious potential for a date night.  I just needed to get rid of Dude.  Which is extremely easy to do.  One only needs to move the PlayStation console and plug it into a different monitor at the venue you want him to move to.  Like a friend’s house. Continue reading

Being home alone sucks.

As parents we fantasize about being alone without the kids…yes we all do it!

Dreaming about having a night off.  Experiencing an evening of bliss when we don’t worry or talk or ponder about our kids.  Especially if it happens in the midst of the tough parenting stages, which occurs from the time they’re born until you die.  Because parents are never NOT parents.  Once we take on the role, it turns into a life-time appointment, like a supreme court judge.

The only trouble with fantasizing about having a night off from parenting is that it’s never as great as we imagine it would be.

Having teenagers in my house means my kids have grown into little adults with whom I can have a conversation with.   Continue reading