When he was 4, we called him Little Joe. It was our Bonanza phase. We had 3 boys with similar temperaments to the Cartwright boys. Mike was Little Joe all over the place.
A couple days ago, we headed out for the DOL to get Mike a driver’s permit.
Truth: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
When preparing to head for the DOL there have been certain steps I’ve come to live by-
Step 1: Fight or Flight instinct sets in. I have to talk myself down, knowing I’ve done this before. I’ve scaled this mountain without oxygen 3x for 3 other kids. It can be done.
Step 2: I go to the “helpful website” to find out what I need to bring, because it’s quite literally different every time I go. I dutifully read through the information and click on the link that should take me to the document I’m supposed to fill out and bring with me. That link immediately takes me to another webpage exactly like the one I were just on. I click on the same link on that page that should take me to the document I’m supposed to fill out and bring with me, and it immediately takes me to another webpage exactly like the one I’m on….lather. rinse. repeat 4 or so times. Helpful website.
Step 3: Finding the birth certificate. This is where that foreboding feeling becomes more of a panic. A few years back I went in to get an enhanced license (since we live 5 minutes from Canada, it makes sense that we might need to go there and we don’t have passports, so one can acquire an enhanced license to get over the border) So, in spite of having a driver’s license for many years, decades even, wherein I had to prove I was born and alive and who my mother is and how I got that scar over my left eye, and why one shoulder is higher than the other, I had to yet again, present a birth cert for the enhanced license. After waiting for nearly 3 hours they rejected both my AND Eric’s certificates, the ones we used to start driving, get married, and adopt a baby internationally, the ONLY birth certificates we’ve ever had. I was informed they weren’t real birth certificates, which led to all sorts of other mishaps and things, so “needing an original birth cert” isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Step 4: Readying the gear for the trip to the DOL. The only positive thing about the DOL is knowing my incarceration there will last a minimum of 2 hours. I pack like I’m heading into the desert for survival training: food, drink, map, charged cell phone, protection from the elements, flares in case I can’t find my way out, etc.
So we left and I related all the horror stories we’ve had over the years so that Mike knew what he was in for. I figured it might lessen the trauma. Like they staff the place with people that hate their jobs and hate people, they have absolutely no sense of humor, people with the power to refuse you a license-don’t piss them off.
We pull into a largely empty parking lot and I get that sick feeling I got years ago when we got all pumped up to go and they were closed that day. But we walked into a room with maybe 6 people waiting, right up to the counter, greeted by a nice, polite man, who said our wait would be 5 minutes. (I chuckled under my breath and whispered to Mike, “yeah, riiiiiiight. Nothing happens here in 5 minutes. I didn’t fall off a truck yesterday.”)
And in less than 5 minutes we were talking to “M” who….made a joke. I didn’t realize it was a joke at first. They never make jokes. Then she made another, and another. She was laughing and enjoying her job. It was…shocking.
And finally, after asking Mikey if we wanted to be an organ donor, she told us that she has had kids who will turn to their mom and ask, “Do I have to donate the organ right now?” To which M assures them “that’s why they have that extra room in the back…it’s just for organ donation.” 🙂
And suddenly we were done. We left. With a permit. Easy peasy. We didn’t even get our pops and snacks open. I didn’t knit a stitch. Mike didn’t read. We didn’t send texts home updating our progress. And Little Joe is driving now.
It was crazy good. I don’t know who messed with the DOL, but I’ll take it. And we’ve got another milestone in the books.
Own the Day!