The Shotgun Club

As I am being driven around the massive high school parking lot by my newly-permitted-to-drive son, I keep an eye on the road with him. I make sure both of his hands are holding on to the wheel. I answer questions and give gentle instruction when he needs it. It’s a nice, quiet slice of quality time that we don’t often get, so I focus on the enjoyment of it and not on the messes that await me when we return home.

After a little while, my eyes shift to the side and I notice another car on the other side of the parking lot, making large circles and figure eights, just as we are.

My son, who is puffed up from being told by his driver’s ed teacher that he is already a “superior” driver, asks me if we can “go freak her out”. I explain to him that he shouldn’t ever, even when he has a license, drive to “freak someone out”, but especially not when he is a beginning driver trying to “freak out” another beginner.

He smiles and says, “Yeah, I guess. But can we drive over there?”

“Sure,” I say, “but no freaking anyone out. Only safe driving.”

We make our way over to the other end and he practices his parking skills as she continues to circle. I notice her father in the passenger seat, looking weary but relaxed, just like me. As his daughter drives carefully by us, her father gives me a nod, and I smile back.

As our young adults continue to brake and accelerate–ever so gently–over every foot of that parking lot, the father and I make eye contact every few times we pass, and I’m wondering if this is funny or awkward.

I decide that it’s funny, and as my son finishes his practice for the day, I smile as we trade seats for the drive home, at the same time noticing another boy driving into the parking lot with his parent member of the Shotgun Club, wearily relaxing beside him.


©2010 Suburban Scrawl


  • twistedxtian

    What a great mom you are! My mom wouldn't get into a car with me for a good 3 or 4 years after I got my license, so yay you! 🙂

    I've had my license for 12 years now and I think she is finally relaxing in the car with me.

  • Keith Wilcox

    Can't wait to teach my kids to drive. A great milestone on the road to maturity. My mom did the same with me, big high school parking lot. But I don't think she was quite so relaxed. I wasn't a great driver out of the box.

  • Pamela

    This was me, last summer!! ACK…the open roads, one newly permitted driver, 6 months of never driving myself, anywhere…lol. I know you have been through it before so sit back and enjoy the ride…:)

  • PJ Mullen

    The whole "freak her out" thing reminded me of Maverick requesting permission to buzz the tower 🙂

  • seashore subjects

    Weary relaxation – a perfect description of how I feel every time my daughter is behind the wheel!

  • Tara R.

    During a recent visit to my childhood hometown, I pointed out to my son the church parking lot where I learned to drive. He didn't agree that it should have a historic marker. Kids!

    Enjoy the driving lessons, think of them as zen moments.

  • nycgirl0501

    The shotgun club…I like that.

    my dad & I never had that day but we did that the day where he showed me how to wet people if there is a puddle on the corner & we are turning. Hee Hee! We are a wacky family LOL (He used to drive a yellow cab in they city & he did show me all the tricks of the trade)