Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The sublime mundane

I called my husband at the museum where he works to tell him our daughter had picked herself up this morning and gone to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get her learner's permit. We had been wondering when it would occur to her that she might like to learn to drive. Driving is not a necessity in New York City. Public transportation will take you anywhere, and is usually faster than a car. Plus this girl learned to catch a cab by watching her mother when she was still knee-high. I remember her four-year-old self thrusting her little arm in the air at the sight of a taxi cab one morning on the way to school. I had been chatting with someone and she saw the cab first. She had just assumed (rightly) that since she was traveling with her mother one of those yellow cars would be needed.

In any case, having a driver's license just didn't seem to be a priority for her. Until today. Without preamble, there she was at the DMV, about to take the learner's permit test, calling me at work to ask a question about IDs. "Did you study?" I asked her. "Of course, Mom," she said, like duh. Her friend had given her the manual, but I never once saw her look at it. But she passed, and I called my husband to tell him the news. He said, "Of course she passed." And then he said, "How about you, are you happy?" It was an odd question, and I thought maybe he had just read my post from last night. Still, I was touched. I said, "Yeah, I'm happy." And it was true.


  1. I don't know which is more amazing-your daughter passing her test or your husband asking you if you're happy.
    If he's anything like my husband, anyway. I mean, my husband always asks how I am, but never, "Are you happy?" That's so sweet.
    Your daughter constantly reminds me of Jessie. They are two of a kind.

  2. Beautiful roses! Love those colors.
    I was so astonished to learn that people got their licenses when they were 16 (!) since I didn't get my license until I was 23-24. I'm still astonished as I don't 16 yr olds should be driving!
    Brava to your girl for braving the dmv and getting it done!

  3. My son is getting ready to take driving lessons (ka-ching! $$$$$) He is the last of his friends to get his license because he is so nervous. I personally think 16 is way too young to be driving.

  4. Well, congrats to your daughter. I know that's a difficult test to pass! May she have many safe driving years ahead of her!

  5. Good for her. Once you're out of the city, a driver's license is pretty much a necessity, as you know!

  6. a wonderful rite of passage. a city dweller for so many years, i did not get my license until i was in my early 40s. i actually loved--and still do--taking public transportation for the adventure, the surprise, the cheek-by-jowl communal aspects. driving has brought a wonderful freedom, tho, i admit. your daughter never ceases to amaze me; she goes after what she wants, when it's right for her. so centered. and pragmatic. and your husband: that man is a treasure, and a rock.
    i am thinking of your trip wonderful that you have such a well of loving support to draw from.



  7. I love the way you tell of everyday things. I truly do. It always sounds perfect and important. Never, ever mundane.