The driver's ed school wanted her to have five hours of driving in before classes started. We've pulled off three hours and forty minutes so far. She won't have any instructional driving this week, so I think we'll be fine with the timing of it all.
However, most of those three hours and forty minutes have been spent in the church parking lot. She's never driven anything before so we really started from the ground up. I was the one she thought she preferred to instruct her. But after two or three sessions I decided it was a job for dad. I tend to overreact in moving vehicles when I'm not driving. No sense needlessly freaking her out.
They got about 2 1/2 hours of driving in (parking lot) before my daughter went to Japan. I was hoping being on her own in Japan would help her feel more capable and it did. I don't know if that reflected in her driving, but I think she was surprised at her ability to take care of herself.
But my patience with the parking lot driving was wearing thin. So when they went out a couple days ago, I suggest it may be time for her to drive home. My husband and daughter were non-committal and both replied "maybe." Then 20 minutes later I heard a horn honking out in front of my house. I knew exactly what it was and grabbed my camera as I headed out the front door.
"I DROVE HOME!" my daughter exclaimed as they sat in the car in the front of the house and I snapped a picture of her with her thumbs up.
I asked her how it was and she said "terrifying". And although I was happy she took that big leap, I also realized it was another step away from me.
First alone in Japan, now this. So, really, who's the terrified one now?