Being a teen is complicated these days, and for grandmas, too. Laura got her temporary permit not two weeks ago, and I went online to sign her up for the driver school just down the road. Nina sent her granddaughters there, and OK with me. It was nine hundred dollars for the course, and I began putting in the information.
At the end, when the credit card info went in, the program balked. “Turn off pop up blocker,” it said. I worked down to the pop up blocker, which is on, and that square of information said, basically, if I turned it off, my computer would be flooded with cookies with worms.
I called the company and asked why, since they had such a fine reputation, did they require closing the pop up blocker. “We just do it that way. What browser do you have? I’ll help you turn yours off.” I turned her down, and opted for the school a mile further away. It’s four hundred dollars cheaper, but driving lessons are scheduled separately, so it may be the same in the end. I signed her up for Saturdays, and her July weekends are no longer her own.
Driving Laura to class this morning, I mused aloud that I wondered how much teaching had changed. I could still hear my driver’s ed teacher and turning corners. “Hand over hand, slide through and accelerate.” She joined me, literally on the first word.
“How do you know that?” I demanded.
“I read,” said she.
“You’re going up a hill,” I threw out. “Accelerate. Accelerate. You’re going up a hill!”
Laura does read, voraciously. She reads her telephone. She reads Mr. Google’s recopies for every bite of food that passes our lips. She studied for the temporary test from an app she downloaded. Who am I to question?
I turned her in to the instructor, and left her in a full class of kids. As I walked away, I realized I hadn’t even wished her luck. I turned back, and caught Laura's eye, amidst a sea of faces and back sacks of lunches and pens. That big smile crossed her face. I gave her a thumbs up, and her boat left the dock.