7 June

My poor, groggy, stressed-out kid. Lauren and I are at the Department of Public Safety and I’ve been asked go inside while Lauren awaits her turn to take her driving test. Geez, I hope her examiner has a grain of compassion. A sense of humor wouldn’t hurt either. (Dammit, why didn’t I think to bring a coffee or a bottle of water.) Lauren had a late shift at work last night and didn’t get enough sleep, so she’s a bit… well, “the walking dead” might be a fit description. A zombie with a seriously bad case of the jitters. I can’t say I’m feeling much better, honestly. I keep going over what I’ve shown her while behind the wheel and I keep coming up with a horrible deficit of information. There’s just NO way to prepare a kid properly for what to expect while driving, and the fact that I’m second-guessing myself doesn’t help matters.

Ack, I just glanced out the itty-bitty window into the testing area at the back of the building. An examiner is with Lauren now but they haven’t begun the driving portion of the test yet. Hang in there, kid. I love you so much.

…Aaand another check out the window. The car is gone. Here we go!

SHE PASSED! SHE PASSED!!! WOO-HOOO!!!!! But holy moly, what a mess. Apparently Lauren got a whopper of a nose bleed just as the examiner came up to the driver’s side window of the car. Poor kid… She used to get nose bleeds fairly frequently when she was little, just like her dad, but they all but disappeared until a few weeks ago, when her nose began to bleed again out of the blue. I’m chalking this up to severe stress – she’s been anxious about a laundry list of things – but I’m going to keep an eye on her. Anyway, she did great, and even excelled at a few things that her instructor said most teens tend to miss. She nailed her parallel parking task and only had a few things marked on her “report card” that still need some work, but overall she aced it. It helped a lot that she had a nice instructor, too, who patiently waited until the Crimson Tide let up and provided an abundance of paper towels. The driver’s seat still looks a bit like a crime scene though, despite a generous application of OxyClean and vigorous scrubbing. I’ll tackle it again late this afternoon and allow the cleaner to sit overnight. The front seat may end up permanently stained but at least there’s a good story behind it!