Friday, January 11, 2013

Middlest Gets her Learner's Permit

Middlest turned 16 earlier this week. That meant a trip to our local DMV office so she could test for her permit. As with any teenager, this is an event which is anticipated for weeks and months before it arrives. Middlest was no exception; she mentioned a few times during the past few months that she was looking forward to getting her permit.

On the day of her birthday I picked her up from school for our trek to DMV. As we pulled out of the parking lot she looked at me with the eyes of an adoring teenage girl who realizes her father is the most brilliant man in the world, and asked quite matter of factly, “So Dad, tell me all I need to know to pass this test.”

I looked at her with a bit of concern. “Middlest, did you study the manual.” Her reply was clear and concise, “Nope.”

I was aghast. Middlest is a good student. She studies and works hard. How could she not read the driver’s manual? It turns out that since I learned to drive the first time, DMV has invented the internet and installed practice quizzes online for the younger generation to use in preparing for the written exam.

“How did you do on those exams?” I inquired.

“Oh, I passed most of them by the end of last night.”

Middlest had just started taking the practice exams the night before. This was not an encouraging sign for the outcome of her exam.

The staff at DMV were their usual soldiers of efficiency. Whisked from station to station, Middlest had her picture taken, signed the requested official New York State forms, and finally was escorted by a security guard to take her test. I sat down, texted Beloved to tell her that Middlest was taking her test. I no sooner had sent it, when Middlest was standing up. She had finished her test.

The security guard, who stood at least seven feet tall, took the test, and in a deep rumbly voice said, “I bet you got a hundred on this test.” Middlest giggled and shrugged her shoulders, “I dunno.”

The DMV clerk checked the test and much to my surprise, especially after only studying a few moments the night before, she really had gotten a perfect score. When the guard saw that he grinned a huge toothy grin and said, “High Five” while holding his hand high in the air. Middlest, who stands a full five feet and one inch tall, floated up to his hand and gave him a high five. The clerk also congratulated her on passing and wished her a happy birthday. Then the clerk looked at me and said, “That will be $80, dad.”

On the way home, while I was driving down the expressway, Middlest called Mother to share the good news. After telling her she passed, I heard Middlest say, “Yeah mom, Dad’s letting me drive for the first time ever down the expressway AND talk on the phone at the same time!”

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