Consider yourself warned: Catherine passed her road test today.
This former baby can now drive a car.
(I can’t show you a photo of her with her license just yet. She has to wait 48 hours before she can get that at the DMV. I don’t know why, and she’s pretty sore about it.)
Of course there has been great celebration all day.
Last night, however, she’d psyched herself out, convinced she would fail on account of her backing skills. Basil took her for one last spin, and assured her that she could back into a parking space more neatly than I can. (I can’t make him reverse his assessment, either; he’s likely right.)
As with the driving lessons all these months, I steered clear this morning.
Basil and Catherine will tell you I have an uncanny ability to cause additional angst in situations like this. Just like I can look at Catherine and know when something is wrong (and likely pinpoint the problem and its cause), I manage to channel anxiety simply by being there. We all agreed it best if Basil handled the logistics today.
So, this morning at 7:30 — 30 hours of classroom time, eight hours with a professional driver and lots of Sunday drives later — Catherine was at her driving school in Stamford, CT, waiting her turn.
There she found a bit of serendipity: A really good friend from camp was also taking her road test today and so the two of them had a good long visit, which helped calm some nerves.
The tester was very nice, she said — a former college admissions guy, he gave her some college search and application tips. And he told her she needs to work on her backing skills.
(This is a far cry from the old fart who tested me and never spoke except to ask after my near-aborted attempt at parallel parking: “Are you finished with your maneuver?” I was, even if I had stopped the car 2 feet from the curb following a 10-minute ballet of forward and reverse. For the record, though, I passed.)
I had to pass the driving school on my way to work this morning and kept an eye out for one of their marked cars, lest I be headlight-to-headlight with Catherine. Luckily, we did not have a chance meeting.
Once at work, I plunged myself into the tasks at hand, forcing myself to stay busy.
It wasn’t until Catherine’s text-message buzzed through that I realized I’d been holding my breath all morning.
I exhaled, but only briefly.
Now I have to let her venture out on her own.