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44 Things That Go Through Your Mind When Your Teen Starts Driving

Photograph by Twenty20

At some point your teenager might want to drive a car. As in, get inside a 5,000-pound piece of metal and turning the wheel and making it go on a street where other people are doing the same thing. Did I mention there are other 5,000-pound pieces of metal on the road at the same time? Yes, go ahead and take some deep breaths.

The hardest part is when they go off without you for the very first time, and you’re watching them drive away and fear, panic and regret set in. If you’re like me you might have some thoughts like these occasionally (and by occasionally I mean every 30 seconds):

1. Is this whole car thing really necessary?

2. Let's just wait a little while. Until you're 30.

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3. Would it really be so bad to drive her around every day?

4. I’ll bet there are lots of people whose mothers drive them around for the rest of their lives.

5. OK, maybe only a few.

6. She could just say she’s in an Uber.

7. I’ll bet I could make a really good fake Uber sign in Photoshop and put it on my dashboard.

8. I wish we had gotten the brakes double-checked.

9. I wish we had taken a better look at the tires.

10. Did the car sound kind of strange?

11. I hope it’s not an engine defect.

12. Did I tell her what to do in case the car stalls because of the engine defect?

13. Did I tell her not to get out of the car if she stalls on a deserted road?

14. *Flash back to episode of "48 Hours" when teen driver got out of car on deserted road*

15. *Has panic attack*

16. *Think of having a glass of wine, but in case something happens to her and I have to go to the police station don't want wine on my breath*

17. Is this the safest car she could be driving?

18. *Googles ‘what is safest car’*

19. Oh no, it’s NOT THE SAFEST CAR on the list.

20. Is it too late to buy a new car?

21. Come back! *resisting urge to text and tell her to wait until we can buy the safest car on the list*

22. DO NOT TEXT HER.

23. Did we stress enough that she should not text while driving?

24. I forgot to put that "DO NOT TEXT" Post-It on the dashboard.

25. And the "LOCK YOUR DOORS" Post-It

26. And the "WAIT A FEW SECONDS AFTER THE LIGHT TURNS GREEN BEFORE YOU ENTER INTERSECTION SO YOU DON’T GET HIT" Post-It

27. I should listen to the news and see if there are any accidents.

28. I hear helicopters. WAS THERE AN ACCIDENT?

29. *Use Twitter for the first time in three months*

30. Oh good, it was just a robbery and police pursuit.

31. Sorry, robbery victims, didn’t mean to trivialize your pain.

32. Dear Universe, don’t punish me for trivializing the robbery victims’ pain, by you know, giving my kid a flat tire or anything.

33. She should be halfway there by now.

34. I should have told her to text us at the halfway point.

35. *Tries to pass the time by updating status on Facebook with lots of crying emojis*

36. She should be there by now.

37. According to my calculations that I've checked five times

38. WHAT IS TAKING HER SO LONG?

39. Not that I want her to speed.

40. Maybe my calculations were off.

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41. *Check WAZE again*

42. *Receives text*

43. THANK GOD SHE ARRIVED SAFELY.

44. Where’s my wine?

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