Apr 26, 2017

Adventures in Obtaining a Driver's Permit


Can you believe this kid is actually old enough to legally drive on real roads with other humans? He recently finished driver's ed and was excited to go to the DMV, take his permit test, and be issued his new driving permit. We had it all planned out perfectly. The kids had a day off last Wednesday, it would be the perfect time to go to the DMV. There is always a long line. Plus, you have to be sitting down at the computers by 3:45pm or you don't get to take the test. All tests have to be finished by 4:30 when they close. So there's a bit of a time-crunch factored into this. 


We arrived at the DMV at 2:20pm. We go to fill out our paperwork when all of the sudden Bennett asks, "Mom, did we bring the blue piece of paper?" By that, he is referring to that small blue square pictured above. It's issued from the Driver's Ed School to prove he took it. It is a required piece of paper along with two forms of identification. "No. We do not have the blue paper." I responded with a sigh. We immediately walk back out the door and head home to retrieve it. The thing is, it's thunder-storming outside. We live 20 minutes away. We have to be back in line and be taking the test by 3:45. We're both feeling the stress. 


So in order to be efficient, I have him filling out the DMV form on the 45 minute drive back and forth to our house and the DMV. We retrieve the magical blue square of paper. I drive like a maniac through the downpour to get him back in time to stand in another long line. It's a race against the clock at this point. We arrived back a little after 3pm. We wait in line for 20-30 minutes. Whew - we made the cut-off. But he is so frazzled by this point, he chokes. He ends up failing his permit test. He was devastated to say the least. The lady at the desk practically yelled to the whole room, "SO, YOU FAILED, HUH?!  YOU'RE NEXT ONE IS FREE BUT AFTER THAT IT WILL COST YOU $10." He sees a kid from his school at the front of line, also waiting to take his test. He just witnessed Bennett's humiliation. Bennett nods to him, hangs his head and leaves the room utterly dejected.

Somehow word had spread about his failed attempt and the whole school knew about it the next day. He was told he was like the only kid to fail the permit test in the whole school. He was able to laugh about it that day. He took all the joking in stride and actually thought the whole scenario rather funny.

He then proceeds to spend the entire weekend actually reading the driver's manual and being quizzed by Gavin, Chuck, and me. On Monday I take him out of school at lunch. We repeat the same scenario: drive 20 minutes away, wait in an interminable line, and hope for the best (this time we had all the necessary paperwork with us the first go-around). Less than 5 minutes after I sit down to wait for him, he's waving me over with a wink and huge grin. He passed! He only got 2 wrong this time. He was beaming with pride.

He likes to credit his first failure with the bad omen of forgetting the all important blue card. Everything went downhill from there. He was so nervous he couldn't even think. Plus, he hardly studied the manual and was primarily going off what he remembered from class. He learned that studying is his friend. He most definitely learned from his failure and ended up finding humor it in all.
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