Friday, November 19, 2010

Alissa got her learner's permit yesterday...


Yesterday I took Alissa to get her learner's permit. She's been talking about it for months, but because of the timing of the move, she couldn't get it when she was 15 1/2.

We've been trying to go for a couple of weeks now, but things keep getting in the way and the place is only open until 5 pm. Plus, the DMV that's practically around the corner is closed indefinitely. So, yesterday we drive to the next-nearest DMV, which is about 7 miles away. However, because traffic is perpetually bad here, it took us about 20 minutes to get there. We still had plenty of time before closing.

We get there, talk to the receptionist and receive a number and wait for that number to be called.

***By the way, is this a new process? Talk to someone and tell them why you're there before you can actually receive assistance? The pharmacy, the deli at the commissary, the vehicle registration place on post all do this now. If this is the new process, at least make sure the person on "Explanation Duty" is cordial. There's nothing like having to explain your case to a grouch.

Anway, we wait patiently for our turn to be called. When we're called, we present our folder of paperwork verifying that Alissa is who she says she is.

HALT!

They don't accept our lease agreement as proof of residency because there is a line crossed out, neatly, and corrected underneath. (It is our owner's new address, which honestly shouldn't count because it has nothing to do with the Heffners.) Anway, they say they can't accept it as proof, so we spend 35 minutes driving home to get a utility bill with my name on it. Because, as Alissa's guardian and partner in this expedition, I also have to prove that I am who I say I am, and that we are allowed to petition for a Virginia license.

We rush back to the DMV, and catch a little traffic (again). Blech. We explain our situation to the new "Explanation Duty" clerk (they must take turns or something) and receive a new number.

We're called fairly quickly, by a new person who takes our new paperwork and enters it into the computer. Five minutes later Alissa is called to the Test Center (a cubicle at the end of the room) where she stands at a computer to take the test. (I can see her standing because they have a mirror on the ceiling so they can make sure the students aren't cheating.) However, I don't understand the no-sitting policy. Weird.

Anyway, 10 minutes later she emerges, and talks to the test attendant to let him know she's done. She turns to me and motions "come here". I know then that she's passed and my eyes start to tear up.

My firstborn is legally allowed to drive. On the road (with a licensed driver).

Every milestone she reaches is also a milestone for me. She's my first child, so every thing she does for the first time I also do. (OK, not everything. But most important "firsts" I am also present for.)

It's bittersweet.

She's a responsible kid. Caring, compassionate, gets decent grades and tries her best. I know she'll be a great driver.

And, as a funny aside, her best friend in the world got her Virginia license yesterday. And, to top it off, Alissa will be eligible to become a licensed driver in 9 months, on August 18. August 18 is that best friend's birthday.

It's a sign. (To me, anyway.) Yesterday was supposed to be the day she got her permit.

And she did.

CONGRATULATIONS, ALISSA!


2 comments:

Emily's Going Nuts said...

Yayyyyyyyyy! Driving is such a huge responsibility (heck, I still don't want the responsibility), but I'm sure she'll be fabulous! Just make sure she doesn't get any passive aggressive notes on her windshield, or else she might develop a bad case of morning road rage (like me!).

Cindy said...

This is coming for us in a month. I can't believe it!

Congrats to Alissa.