Thing 1 turned 16 a month ago, and has been dying to get her driver's licence ever since. And today she did!
She got her G1 licence, which used to be called a "beginner's" licence in my day, back when the earth was cool and Oprah was poor. She can only drive with a licenced driver who is over 18 in the front seat, not between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m, not on major highways, and without playing "Nickleback" at any time. (Okay, that last one is my rule.)
Like all government-sanctioned activities in Canada, there is a determined and unwavering effort to make sure you do not enjoy yourself one bit while held captive in their offices. There is no where near enough seating, the air conditioner, like the staff, is testy, and the decorator clearly worked in a Soviet-era prison before emigrating to Canada.
After waiting about 40 minutes, it was finally Thing 1's turn. We went up to the counter and Thing 1 answered a couple of questions and did a vision test, and then she had to get her picture taken and sign her licence. Who knew that this would be the toughest part of the day?? She signed her name, but it had to match her passport's exactly. First of all, she signed that thing a year ago, and secondly, a 16 year old doesn't sign her name very often. (She also said she literally hadn't put pen to paper since school let out a month and a half ago!) The very nice man behind the counter let her give it a couple of goes, but honestly, it was very tense by the time she got it right. Then she had to have her picture taken, and she blinked. Twice. By the time we were on the third picture we were both laughing so hard, and I could detect that my darling girl was on the verge of really losing it and sinking into hysteria and possible seizures. Finally, she got a picture that did not make her look like she was sound asleep, a terrorist or under pharmaceutical influence.
After all that, she wrote the test and passed easily. Big smiles all around. (Just for the record, we saw three people who did not pass, one girl by just one wrong answer. I'll bet it was quiet around the dinner table at those houses tonight.)
I can't wait until Thing 1 has her full licence and can take over some of the ferrying and chauffering of her younger sister. And guess who will teach Thing 2 to drive? This is an era I'm going to like.