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Baby on board ... She got her driver's license!

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There’s the old joke when a 16-year-old gets a driver’s license that everyone better “watch out.” It’s usually followed by a laugh that the young driver doesn’t really appreciate.

Well, today my “baby” got her driver’s license. I’m sure she’ll hear plenty of remarks, some in fun, some congratulatory.

But, for my husband and me, it’s scary.

As I said, she’s our “baby.” She will always be, no matter how old she gets.

Lacking the mileage of an experienced driver, she isn’t as quick to react. And, like any driver, she can make mistakes.

After riding with her the other night, there had been a discussion of my hesitation when I told her whether a lane was clear. After we were home, and we’d destressed a bit, I sat down with her.

“The decisions you make when you’re driving are life and death decisions,” I told her. I didn’t like having the conversation, but it’s exactly what every driver needs to be told.

I remember when I first got my license, and I’m sure my driving wasn’t perfect. If it had been, my mother wouldn’t have been applying the invisible brake on her side of the car every time she rode with me.

Now, I seem to be pressing on the invisible brake when I’m in the passenger’s seat. It’s annoying to my daughter, but it’s just a reaction on my part.

Although we’re still not ready to let go and give her full reins of the car, I know this rite of passage will be helpful in the future. Those early morning band rehearsals, trips to the store for last-minute items, meeting friends … these are all reasons that another driver in the family could prove useful.

Friends and family also are encouraging. They’ve experienced first-hand how it made their schedules a little more manageable. 

I’m not sure we’re ready, but she is. She is moving forward, growing.

I just want her to keep in mind the responsibility she carries with her every time she gets behind the wheel of a car. My baby’s in that car.

Linda Lynn

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›