Heartbreak for a 16 year old

heartbreak, family, teen-age driving test

image courtesy of nonathlete.wordpress.com

Today I planned to post a New Year’s Greeting to all my blog friends and anyone else reading this.  Instead, my day took a turn.

My big one, sweet 16, took her driving road test today and failed.

heartbreak, family, teen-age driving test

image courtesy of http://www.squidoo.com

Her driving instructor took her out for one last lesson and then to the testing place.  She was confident, but nervous… and she had practiced and was ready.

At the last-minute, I asked her if she wanted me to be there just for support and she said yes.

I went 15 minutes early and did not see her because they took her out as soon as she got there.  She was already on the road.

After 30 minutes, I got a text from her “I did not pass”. I told her I was in front of the building and could take her home.  Her instructor brought her around to me and she had the biggest crocodile tears I have ever seen.  Her face was red from scalp to chin, tears streaming out, and she was so sad she could hardly get words out.

My heart broke for her.

I comforted her and talked to her instructor and got the details – about what she did wrong and when she can try again.  He told me she was a great kid, and a very good driver, and she would be okay next time.  I told her she had about 70 more years to drive so the next 13 days would be insignificant in the big scheme of things.  Her instructor told her it wouldn’t show up on her resume so she didn’t need to cry.

None of that mattered to her at the moment.

She was heartbroken and needed to cry.

heartbreak, family, teen-age driving test

image courtesy of http://www.newsrealblog.com

I drove her home and fate put a train on the tracks before we could pass.  That gave me time to come up with an idea –  to turn around and take her for ice cream.  I asked her if that would make it feel better and she said yes.  She spent about 10 minutes picking her ice cream because there were so many choices of this small treat to make her feel better…or because she had a lot on her mind.

She ate the ice cream and I told her there were two pieces of advice I wanted to give her…

1. you can’t let something that already happened ruin the rest of your day/life – it’s over, it’s sad, but you have so many other good things to look forward to

2. that said, you need to let yourself be sad and get it out and then move forward…my limit is one hour (at least for this scope of heartbreak) – so we spent the next 42 minutes (it was 18 minutes since her text) eating ice cream, talking about how the tester was mean, and that it was crummy she had to go through this, her crying, and me patting her and holding her.

Then I took her picture with big puffy eyes (because let’s face it, it will be funny one day), she shook it off, and then she announced to everyone in the house she was “moving forward”.

That’s my girl.


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25 Responses to Heartbreak for a 16 year old

  1. Catherine says:

    OMG, I love this post. Life’s little set backs can really suck but you gave amazing advice to your daughter. And, good call on the ice cream. Ice cream makes EVERYTHING better!

  2. Your a great mom! Think I will take your advice as well about being sad.
    When I was 17, I failed my driver’s test three times. On the first test I ran a stop sign.

    I didn’t get any ice cream, but, I did find out that my mom failed her driver’s test as well, when she was my age.

    • Thanks 633. I have to say all the comments about being a great mom are going to my head today. I’ll take it whenever I can get it.

      That’s funny that you found out your mom had failed also. I also failed my first road test and my daughter knew that. I don’t think it helped much at the time.

      Buy yourself some ice cream tomorrow and wash away any sadness that may have tracked you from 2010. We’re all moving forward this year!

  3. Rea says:

    Super duper advice, Mom. Plus, ice-cream always helps. I need to take in some of that wisdom myself. Here’s to a great road test on the next round.

    • Thanks Rea. Usually my husband is the “buy you ice cream, make it feel better” parent so this was a stretch for me! I sure hope she passes next time or I’ll have to think up something new to say.

  4. Aww, you are a great mom! And your two bits of advice are probably all I needed to know at 16 ….but didn’t. Funny, I failed my driving test more than once here in the UK. I was 27.

    Happy new year!


    • Thanks Kemi. It seems like every day is a challenge for a mom of teens and no book could prepare you for the conversations or the challenges.

      Sorry to hear you failed your test more than once, but I bet you are a great driver now.

  5. I am scared!!!!!
    On a different note- i had a friend (very smart girl) who failed her Driver’s 5 times. She also wrote off two cars in our first year in Varsity! HAHA! Perhaps they knew it would happen.
    Have an awesome New Year!!!

    • Hey bookie – not sure how I scared you.

      I shared your comment with my daughter and she smiled a bit reading about the 5 failures and the two crashes.

      Hope your new year is also off to a roaring start.

  6. an excellent piece of advice…that’s why Moms are such a darling and these are the small things children always remember them for…
    i was a little sad to read the post but the last part was simply awesome…

    • Thanks for the kind words and the hope you gave me that she will remember these moments of kindness.

      The day ended well with a long chat after midnight about how many things she experienced all in one day after the failed test.

  7. an excellent piece of advice…dat y Moms r such a darlings n these are the small things children always remember them for…
    i was a little sad to read the post but the last part was simply awesome…

  8. Awww, I bet your heart broke for her. When my son went to take the written test, he didn’t study. After all, he was in the gifted program and didn’t need to study…I warned him, but he didn’t listen. He failed, and when he walked out, I couldn’t help but laugh. His face was ashen..lol Believe it or not, he didn’t study the second time, because, “Mom, they give the same test. I know which ones I missed.” Well, the second time he walked out, his face was green..lol and I laughed again. He took out the book and passed the third time. (I’m going to have to write a post on this one..lol)
    You gave great advice!

    • Thanks Jumping for the comment about my advice. Your story about your son is funny, and sad, and a little odd. I wonder if he learned anything about it in addition to just learning the driving questions. (like how to be better prepared in life)

  9. That was great advice you gave her. Her reaction proves what a wise kid she is.

  10. Expressmom says:

    I wouldn’t be worried one bit. Actually, I would be thrilled. Delighted that such a young person could bounce back so quickly, that she didn’t milk the event for sympathy, that she wasn’t a drama queen, and that she can joke about it! Because she WILL get her license eventually, but if she was a whiny drama queen, well, that may never be fixed!

    Congrats on her handling herself so gracefully!

    Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Expressmom. I felt the same way about her grace…and frequently reflect that I was not so capable at her age. My husband gives me credit for it, but that may be just to get points with me. 🙂

  11. Oh dear – poor thing. That said, I wish mine had failed his…. I know I’m rotten, but it usually comes and goes in stages.

    You did a great job Mom – I wish I could be so wise when the moment calls for it…


  12. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    You are an awesome Mom! And…it sounds like your daughter, while heartbroken right now, has an awesome attitude! She will ace her test next time out! Ya’ll have a safe and happy New Years Eve!

    • Thanks Mark – it always feels good when someone says I’m doing a good job. You have a great New Year’s as well. The big one is now with friends enjoying and I am sure taking a bit of ribbing for the “fail”. It’s easier to take the ribbing when you get the comfort at home.

      Her attitude is good, but she is still 16 so every now and then…

  13. thypolarlife says:

    Awww. That must’ve been hard. My oldest will be 16 in a month so I’m sure I have a lot in store. Especially since he thinks he knows it all.

    Ice cream fixes everything 😉 great quick thinking mom!

    Have a happy new year!

    • Hi polarlife….they each know it all until they don’t.

      Stay close. He’ll need you in ways he can’t express. Of that, I am sure.

      Every year gets a little harder for this mom…and a little more rewarding as well. Tiring though.

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