My son Zach (17) is a master of procrastination (I wonder where he gets it).  On Saturday he got his learner’s permit.   Yesterday afternoon I decided it was time for him to start driving just in time for rush hour. 

I who founded Frightmare Forest Productions, thought I knew what it meant to be scared witless.   I was dead wrong.    I had parked the car in the drive way close to the garage with the front of the car facing the garage.  

He started the car and put it in drive.   Bringing the car within milimeters of taking out the garage door.   Then when he placed the car in reverse, he pushed too hard on the gas causing the car to jump backwards at a high rate of speed.    

I of course freaked out… So he slammed on the brakes.   

My heart now pounding and the addrenalyn rushing, I struggled to give him praise.  You know, trying to be the good Dad and giving him some words of encouragement.  

As he started down the street, I realized he was driving with one foot on the gas, and one on the break.  Rookie mistake.   Giving him more encouragement and words I thought would help him relax, he made it down the road with no problems.  

Then a car  turned down the street in front of us driving towards us in the left lane.   I saw the knuckles on his fingers whiten as he tensed up and squeezed the steering wheel.   His second reaction was to take us into the curb.  

Again I freaked out.   Struggling to remain calm,  I gritted my teeth and reminded him with a growl to get away from the curb.     

Then came the first Stop sign.     I asked him if he saw the sign.   He replied he did.     He didn’t slow his pace yet.   Growing more nervous I explained how to slow the car, without slamming the breaks.   He glanced at me in confusion.    Then I saw his left foot going for the break…  I reminded him to use only the one foot when driving.    With seconds to spare, we stopped.   With only a little tire squeak. 

The rest of the trip went by with little error.   That was until we pulled into our destination.   With the car still running and in gear, he began to exit the car.   As we started pulling toward the car parked directly in front of us I had to scream at him to stop the car.    Again barely missing a collision.

As he exited the car I gave him praise for getting us there safe and made a little promise to myself.   Next time he drives, he takes his mom. 





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  1. Kevin says:

    For all the Xbox 360 racing games he plays that is surprising. But then there is no turn signals, pedestrians and real world consequences. Just hope he doesn’t have a Burnout Paradise flashback and start ramming some guys car.

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