At the age of 33, I’ve passed my driving test – and first time too, check me!
I should have done it bloody years ago, but my younger self never once thought ahead to the years where I might be living on the other side of London to my nearest and dearest, let alone have two kids to lug around the stair-filled corridors of the Underground. Honestly, the Northern Line has given me arm mum-muscles from all that buggy stair lifting.
As soon as my test examiner walked out, I immediately tried to break the ice by telling him I was more nervous doing this than I was birthing two kids. We both chuckled, him politely, me nervously. But since this throwaway comment, I’ve been thinking…a driving test and giving birth has more in common than you might first think. Ok, so on a physical pain level, this is a ridiculous, if not insulting, thing to say to any woman…but bear with me on this one, you’ll see what I mean….
–You are forced to anxiously wait in a run down, cell like room with suspiciously stained seats and floors – the colour of the walls are almost the exact shade of puke, which only serves to add to your nerves.
-You are surrounded by clipboards – with experts flicking through sheets and jotting down notes. You never actually read what is on the clipboard, you actually don’t care….your only though is: let’s get this over with – I need a cup of tea and some toast.
-You’ve read all the books – but actually NOTHING can prepare you for YOUR individual experience – you know how you want it to go in your head, but there are just too many variables in play to know how exactly this is going to go down. You aren’t in control of it all! Arrgh!
-You have to navigate large things in tight spaces – a whole different kind of pain, but screw you parallel and bay parking! Screw you.
– Once it’s over, it costs you a fortune – lots of unexpected, sneaky little costs thanks to your new addition. Sigh!
– Once you have passed, you face the snobbery brigade – so what if I passed in an automatic and not a manual. I’ve had a few digs already. It’s a bit like me getting an epidural for my first – some might say I had the easy option (I was delighted). Some might say natural is best. But you know what, I’ve done both now. I didn’t leave the hospital feeling any less of a mother when I went for the drugs. Nor did I get a bravery medal for doing it natural the second time with Harry. HOW I did it doesn’t define me as a mother. And nor will how I passed my test define me as a driver. We are all drivers in the end, all on our own exciting journeys. There is no right or wrong way to do it – just give yourself a huge high-five. YOU DID IT!
Now, I just need to go and learn how to drive on the other side of the road in America. Three weeks until we move to San Diego!
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