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Dad’s Final Driving Test

“G-22”, that is the number we waited to hear at the MVA. My 16-year-old son just passed his driving portion of his test to gain his license. We now waited for our number to be called so he could get his picture taken, sign a few forms and for him to be handed his actual drivers license. I turned to an elderly man next to me and said, “My son’s number is G-22, and when it is called my life will be for ever changed.” He laughed as we glanced over at my son sitting on the edge of his seat.

I have actually been pretty impressed with Maryland’s requirements for a 16 year old to get a license. I had to pass a quick few test 25 years ago and off I was on 495 to 66 to Georgetown. In addition to the written and drivers test, sixty hours of driving with an adult (basically saying, “Mom and Dad – don’t send out to us what you were unwilling to risk yourself”) and an extensive drivers school.

But wait! For this father, it still was not quite enough. My son knew that before I would drive him to hear what turned out to be G-22, I had a few test/ requirements of my own.

My son first had to sign a contract with mom and dad. My son is a responsible young man, but I contribute that, in part, to him always having a clear understanding of what his boundaries are and where his freedoms lie.  I am sure there is better stuff out there, I just made this one up.  See below.

Next he had to pass an east coast map test. In short, if he hopped on Rt 95 and one way pointed to NYC and the other to Richmond, I wanted him to have an immediate visual of what that meant and which direction he should head. See below.

Next he had to pass a very detailed map of the Washington / Baltimore area. From a blank sheet of paper, with no clues around, he had to draw a rough out line of the two cities showing all of the major highways and several major roads, as well as surrounding cities. I love GPS and MapQuest, but it makes us stupid. I wanted him to have a clear understanding of where he is at all times. See below.

Finally there was the verbal test. See below.

I only share this with you because some friends it would be useful to use in their own context.