Help! Parenting and Learner Driver ‘Children’

its ok to ask for help

Sometimes you have to send out a global call for help because no amount of books, Google Searches, chats with friends, acquaintances have been of much help.

Nub of matter: Son (19) is all set to take to the road in a car. We’ve moved on from bikes with stabilisers, racing bikes, scooters … to the real McCoy ~ C A R.  In addition to lessons from a qualified instructor, the law in Ireland states that all Learner Drivers must have a person with a full driving licence for at least two years sitting with them in the car up and until they pass their driving test.


It transpires that I’m the person who is the obvious candidate for this role. BUT, even thinking about it gives me the complete and utter heebee-jeebies.

I remember all too well what I was like as a learner driver ~ and I was fortunate enough to have the love of my life sitting beside me ~ apparently nerveless as I rolled halfway down Constitution Hill (the steepest hill in Ireland); bombed along the road from Clogherhead to Drogheda at about 150 mph, sailing into orbit as we hit the humpback bridge at Termonfeckin,  after he’d commented that it wasn’t very sensible to indicate to the right when I intended to turn left and there was a tractor in the mix.

My limited experience with my father sitting beside me was a nightmare. On our first day out, the accelerator cable snapped and he was screaming at me to get a move on while I was trying to tell him that the accelerator was lying in a heap on the floor. He couldn’t hear me because of all the hooting horns from the two-mile tailback behind us.

So, how does one cope with this ordeal as the ‘passenger?’ Are we talking fistfuls of Valium, self-hypnosis, Reiki, having blaring music on to drown the shouting; finding religion …..

Please tell me the secrets to success ~ if you’ve discovered any!


Sunday Morning Connections ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 312

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

I’ve been rather surprised that no one has submitted a song or, indeed music,  of any description to the Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection here on Social Bridge over the last few weeks.

Songs are all about connections to me and  ever since I mentioned Kris Kristofferson at the weekend that Winter-time started here in Ireland, he’s been more and more on my mind.

Kris Kristofferson brings me back to my teenage years in the 1970s and, most of all, I associate him with sitting on an oil heater in the drawing-room of the Bank House in Drogheda, playing his Greatest Hits, over and over and over and … again.

Listening back to the songs over the last week or so, they make me feel like Kris Kristofferson  was my introduction to the roller-coaster of emotions that are associated with  growing up, loving, leaving, losing, living …..

I must have played Me and Bobby McGee a million times visualising myself in that van with the wind-shield wipers slappin’ time … and contemplating the words: Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose …

I don’t think there’s been a Sunday morning since those teenage days that I haven’t had thought of  Sunday Morning Coming Down. More than anywhere, it hit me when I ventured out on my first day in America – San Francisco  ~ a Sunday, January 2, in 1983.

I’d love to hear what songs/music have extra-special connections for you?