I was all excited about Marie learning to drive. Yes! One less person to chauffeur around. Who knows? Eventually, she could help me chauffeur her siblings to sports practices, dance lessons, or music events. I was psyched!
I’d ask Marie daily how Driver’s Ed was going—to the exclusion of her other courses. She’d answer as she always does, “Fine.” But I was in my dream world. My first daughter is going to drive, I repeatedly told myself. In fact, I bragged to my entire family. My dad even bought Marie a bumper sticker:
“If you don’t like my driving, stay off the sidewalk!”
I laughed. I praised her. My first daughter won’t be bugging me to take her places anymore. She, in fact, will be able to help me take others. I was in Heaven.
And then I woke up. Class test grades filtered in for this 23-day course, and reality clouded my days. Marie wasn’t going to pass the state test unless I studied nonstop with her. And even then we are never sure. My excitement about having assistance with chauffeuring children started to fade.
I hammered away at the notes, reading to Marie, having her actually look at the terms to be able to recognize them when she saw them on a test. Each night we would both end a session of studying with tears.
This is NOT the way to study with a special needs child. No matter what YOU want, some things are not to be. Marie failed the test by 4 points, which is pretty good for her. I told her we could study again and she could retake the written test in the summer. She didn’t look interested. At all. My husband tried to get me to see. At this time, Marie is not interested in driving. I realized he was correct. And then I cried myself to sleep.