It's a question I've been hearing a lot lately with Val being 17 and Liz 16. For the boys we didn't allow them to get their permit until they were 18. Out of all the kids Liz is the one that I wouldn't mind driving right now. I'm finding it hard to go against the 18yo "stance" we've had so far though. I had other reasons besides age to put off the previous kids from getting their permit. Drew can be hotheaded and reacts on it. Pat when he was their age wasn't doing what he needed to (or could do) and didn't deserve the opportunity. Michelle until recently just hasn't had a strong desire to get behind the wheel, she's also not the quickest decision maker. Val is so much on the go I really don't want her having the ability to go at her disposal (not that she'd have a vehicle to do it with). Liz, I'd love if she could drive and take the kids with her to church activities. It would save me or Tom from running out there. Not only would it make things easier for ME, she's also one of the most level headed of the kids. While she has a temper she doesn't act on it quickly or easily.
I had to rethink my thinking on Liz the other day though. I was telling the kids about how I was stopped by the campus police in the college parking lot. Seems I didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign. I was talking to Michelle about where to drop her off and wasn't paying total attention to the signs. Besides no one was trying to cross the crosswalk (kidding, really). I apologized and promised to stop next time. The officer let me off with a stern warning. Liz had been in the van with me at the time and decided to chime into the story with..."But it's ok because the sign didn't say stop all the way."
I looked at her puzzled and let out an audible HUH? Val's friend B who had just finished up her driver's ed course totally got where Liz was coming from and burst out laughing. Between roars of laughter she tells Liz..The sign doesn't say Stop all THE way....it says...Stop all WAYS. She then went on to tell Liz what it truly meant. Poor Liz. By the time B had finished correcting her we were all ROFL, including Liz. Eventually it became too great an embarrassment though and she started crying.
I thought for sure Liz was fooling around and had made a joke. After she started crying though I realized she really did think that's what the signs said. A few days later in the car I asked her if she REALLY thought that's what the signs said and meant. She admitted to me that she really did. I then told her...I think we're going to wait on you getting your permit. I then suggested she read the driver's manual from the DMV! Guess my no permit until 18 stance is upheld for now.