My son Noah recently turned 16, and in New Jersey that means you can get your driver's learning permit. Which basically means that the parent of the fledgeling driver needs either a bucket of valium to remain calm while instructing the newbie, or a damn good stylist to cover the gray hairs earned during practice sessions.
Noah has been practicing in my truck, which is good because we'e in a lovely large cocoon of metal, and bad because it's my new truck and I know it's going to get dinged up and of course I want my baby boy protected but I'd really still like to keep my new truck dent free. Deeeeeeep breath.
Today I let him drive home from the barn, which is a half hour trip, much of it on the highway. It was after 8 on a Friday night, so traffic was very light. I buckled into the passenger seat, took a deep, cleansing breath, and prepared to be a calm and collected font of driving knowledge.
Here is some of the advice I gave him:
When we were merging onto the highway: "You're gonna need to give it more leg." (No kidding, that actually came out of my mouth).
When going up a hill: "More impulsion!" (I even clucked for good measure. Again, totally unintentional).
Coming in to a downhill turn: "Whoa. Whoa. WHOA!"
Before a dog-leg turn: "You're gonna want to half halt and balance up before entering the turn."
During the dog-leg turn: "You're bulging to the outside - what do you need to do?" (Thank God he didn't say to apply stronger outside aids).
Again, this stuff was just coming out of my mouth, 100% live streaming. No lie. I wasn't planning any of it. You know how it is. When you're a horse person every other aspect of life is seen through the equestrian filter.
To give the kid credit, he didn't bat an eyelash and he didn't need me to translate a thing. He did fairly well for a newbie. Has a bit of an issue with keeping the pace consistent - he tends to rush or back off a lot. There's no middle ground with him. He has the same tendency when riding, so maybe if he improves one he'll improve the other.
PSA - If you live in Northern NJ and are on Routes 78 or 287, you may want to avoid a champagne colored Chevy Tahoe. Just saying.