Today we went to the local driving school and signed Meelyn up for a summer class in July, two hours a day on Monday through Friday for three weeks. I felt a strange mixture of triumph and tearfulness as I wrote the check. On the one hand, look at Meelyn, so beautiful and good and wonderful (I am biased) and isn't it a truly fantastic thing that she has reached this new, important milestone? But on the other hand, wasn't it just yesterday that I was carefully buckling her pumpkin seat into the back of the station wagon we used to drive and making sure that I covered her tiny face with a light shawl if the air seemed too chilly for her tender skin?
The lady behind the desk at the driving school made Mee sign a contract stating that she promised to study hard, be attentive in class and careful on the road, and be respectful to the teachers. It made me kind of wonder what sort of trouble they'd run into before that they feel they need a contract for good behavior from teenagers who are there to learn to drive. What better motivator could there be for a young person to keep a civil tongue in his head? But then I remembered that I used to have students going through my English classes who had to be there in order to complete their requirements for a high school diploma and that never stopped some of them from being vomitous little toerags. Vive le homeschooling!
I filled out all the paperwork and got a surge of happiness again when I was able to write "Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic High School" in the blank where I was asked to write what high school my student attended. I have just realized that this marks a huge milestone for our entire family -- Meelyn has completed grades 2-5 in elementary school and grades 6-8 at home (Holy Family Homeschool) and is moving on to her last four years with Aisling doggedly chugging on behind her. It's really very exciting.
The receptionist told us that they'd mail us a certain piece of paper three weeks before the class starts so that we can go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and get Meelyn's learner's permit, which is very exciting. That date coincides with the time that my husband and I will have to pay the remaining balance due for the driving lessons, which isn't nearly so charming. Ms. Receptionist was pleased to hear of Meelyn's driving practice in empty church parking lots and urged us to keep that up, as it would be very helpful. Meelyn lit up in excitement -- I believe we may be spending a lot of time searching for various parking lots around town.
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