Friday, 18 September 2015

Learners License

This year has been a huge one for Jalen.  Grade 10 is so busy, especially because he is on the SLB and now we are having to think about which college (year 11 and 12) he will be going to next year.  I love the age that he is at, but sometimes I just want my little 12 year old boy back, as life was a lot simpler back then - except that it was just after Aaron passed really it wasn't simpler at all, but at least I didn't have to think about college, and part time jobs, and now driving!

When I met Aaron he didn't have his drivers license and he was 21! I couldn't believe that a 21 year old guy would not have a drivers license, and was actually cranky when we were engaged that I had to teach him how to drive. I guess life in town is a lot different, when you can get around on buses if you need to, but growing up in the country we didn't have any of that, and we couldn't wait until we were old enough to get our license, so we could be independent and drive to town.

A few months ago I bought Jay the road rules book and told him to start studying up, as you can get your learners license in Tasmania when you are 16.  He read it now and then, but I knew he wasn't ready to get his license a couple of weeks ago.  I didn't want him to end up like Aaron and not bother to do anything about it, so I challenged him to get his Ls before his birthday.

We knew you could sit the test before your birthday, and he started panicking saying that he wasn't ready.  I told him to just do a few practice tests online to see what he knew, and what he didn't know and after a few nights of practice tests he knew that he was ready.

We went in the day before his birthday so he could sit the test, and I knew he could pass it as it had passed a few practice tests, but was also prepared that he may not pass the first time.  It only took him about 15 minutes (rather than the half an hour the lady suggested) and he came back to us with a big grin and said 'passed!'.  I tried not to act too surprised, but was so happy for him, especially as he said he didn't think he would pass the first time.

Kobe yelled out 'I'm so proud of you Jay! And not just because we can get Cold Rock now!' (I told the boys that if he passed we would go and get ice cream).  We cracked up laughing and then Kobe said 'what Mum!? I'm being serious! I AM proud of him!'.  It was very cute.

The boys were very excited to get Cold Rock. It's the most expensive treat ever, but it's fun for a special occasion.

Because he passed the test the day before his birthday, he couldn't actually get it until his birthday which was on Saturday. That meant he had to wait until Monday when Service Tasmania was open again, to actually get his license.  We raced in after school and it was then official! 
We decided to go for a little drive straight away and went to our church car park to practice. Of course he had to Snapchat a photo to all his mates before he took off for the first time!
I knew it would be scary, and I told myself that I have to be calm and patient as I didn't want to put him off driving.  I'm determined that he won't be like Aaron and will have his license at a decent age.  But then once we started and he realised that it's a lot harder than it looks, and I realised how much I have to teach him and how patient and calm I need to be, I realised it's going to be a bit stressful over the next year or so! 

Harri has been so nervous about it and asked me if any learner drivers have ever died while learning to drive! I don't think he wants another death in the family! 

We went for our second 'drive' (in the car park) today and he did really well and was pretty pleased with himself. 
We went to a drivers training information night during the week at RACT and I have decided that we are going to take up a free lesson that the government funds, which is a lesson for both Jay and myself with a professional driving instructor.  The whole system about getting your license has changed so much since I got mine, and it's really good as it makes sure that they are good drivers and have had a lot of experience on the roads before they can get their license. 

I think I will save up so he can have some lessons with a professional instructor to just get his skills up, as I want him to feel confident and not take forever to get to the next stage. I love that he is like Aaron in many ways, but taking years to get his drivers license is one thing I don't want him to follow in Aaron's footsteps in. My brother Eden and I both had a laugh the other night and said that if Aaron were still here, I probably wouldn't have trusted him to teach Jay to drive anyway, as I always drove when we were together.  I'm sure he is right! I like to be in control as much as possible when it comes to things like this, so it's very scary when you aren't the one in the drivers seat.

Wish me luck! And look out for a white Subaru with L plates on the back and avoid it if possible! ;)


  1. Hooray - I think??? I'm in the same seat right now! We did the Keys2Drive with the RACT on Monday - it was good. I'm taking Patrick this weekend (eek) and then he's having a few lessons. I wish us all luck. #Excitedbutmorescared!

  2. I'll have to be careful when I am in my motorised scooter crossing the road her if he is practising next door:)

  3. Impressive and I have to say in the states it cost us nearly $500 out of pocket for my son to go through two rounds of driver's training classes, time on the road, paper testing, driver's test and then we have three levels of licensing (at least in Michigan). You're lucky as nothing is funded here by our government for driver's education.

    1. It's the same here too. The free lesson is just to talk about safety and to show the supervisor (parent) the best way to teach someone to drive. After that we have to pay a lot for lessons (if we choose to have professional ones) and it also costs a lot to get your license and there's four stages until you have your full license. You also have to pay if you fail your practical test.

  4. Ahh gotcha! Yep we have graduated license program here as well, no full license until 18 and it's turned a different direction until they are 21 which is the legal drinking age here. What's crazy is back in my day, three weeks of Driver's Ed was all funded through our schools so taxes paid for it and you spent three weeks during your summer of learning and testing with a full license at 16. My how times have changed. By the way, you have a beautiful family. The stories of Kobe's antics always make me giggle. Prayers from my side of the globe continue for your family.

  5. I love the photo of the three boys - it's great that the younger ones have a big brother they can look up to! Such a precious memory to share.

  6. I'm 27 years old, baby on the way and only just learning to drive now that I've fallen in love with a country boy. I'm quickly getting sick of the isolation if I'm home by myself... talk about motivation!!
    Yay for Jay though & yes, he's growing up fast!!! As for Cold Rock.. I've been converted to Yogurtland... do you have that in Tassie?

  7. Teaching my daughter to drive was one of the hardest parts of parenting for me! I'm not sure who was more nervous, me or her. He'll be driving well in no time!


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