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I’ve been helping Daughter with parallel parking in anticipation of her driver’s test this week. “Helping,” however, is precisely the wrong word. You see, I never learned how to properly parallel park when I was learning to drive, even though I had a permit for years and drove something like 13 different vehicles before I took my test in Hubby’s ginormous yacht of a Cadillac. I was docked points during the parallel parking portion of my test because I made “too many maneuvers.” In my estimation, you maneuvered until you got into the space – especially with a Caddy Sedan DeVille.

So I wasn’t actually “helping” Daughter with her parallel parking. Instead, I was the adult driver she needed in the passenger seat while she practiced. Around and ’round the block she went, practicing her parallel parking in front of our house where we had our other car and an orange cone set up to delineate the space. I paid close attention to how she was lining up the car and turning the steering wheel through the process. She successfully parked the majority of the times she tried and she always had a sense of when she was too angled and not going to make it into the space without hitting the curb.

The other notable thing about Daughter when she parks is how calm she is. One maneuver at a time, very deliberate, cool as a cucumber. Completely unlike me when I attempt to parallel park. I always freak out because I don’t know what I’m doing and know that I’m not going to get into the space properly. Until tonight …

After watching Daughter practice, I told her I wanted to try. I made the attempt three times and two of those times were successful. The most successful parallel parking I’ve done in my life. Sweet! Having teenagers is wonderful.

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