Tommy had already aced the mid-term in the driver’s ed class. Zero wrong out of a hundred questions.
I had gone over every element of physically driving the car. The gas pedal, the brakes, the gears, the steering wheel, the blinkers.
“Are you ready to try this?” I asked.
He looked a little scared, but he nodded.
“OK, let’s switch places.”
I got out of the driver’s seat, and got into the passenger seat. Tommy sat behind the wheel for the first time.
“Do you need to adjust the seats or the mirrors?” I asked.
He shook his head. “Nope. This is fine.”
“OK. Now remember, we’re just going around the corner here, and then we’ll go down the street and turn into the driveway. Got it?”
“Got it,” he said.
He put the car in drive and it lurched forward. “Oh my God,” he said.
“It’s OK–just take it easy.”
He slammed on the brakes. Then he pushed the gas a little too hard. We jerked forward and back. He steered the car onto the wrong side of the road, nearly driving on a lawn. But he successfully made the turn onto the correct street, and he used his blinker properly.
When we were on the right street, he steered into the wrong lane again, and slammed on the brakes and pushed the gas a little too hard again. He looked slightly terrified, but he made it onto the driveway, put the car in park, and turned off the ignition.
“Whew,” he exhaled.
“Whew,” I exhaled.
Only 49 hours and 58 minutes of supervised driving to go.