It's been a challenging few days in the Gerver house. Our son, our youngest, had his driving test and it didn't go well. There was pressure on him; his sister, never one to miss an opportunity, passed first time, so you can only imagine the 'pre-match banter.'
For those of you who have kids, you will know what I mean when your child goes off for any kind of test or exam and you are left waiting at home; unsure what kind of strategy you need to prepare for given the uncertainty of the outcome. Was it going to be a call to the insurance company to see if we could get cover that was cheaper than the car? Or was it, as it turned out, time for listening mode? To be acknowledging and soothing to the rants of a hormonal seventeen-year-old boy, devastated that he wouldn't now be driving around town, his mates beside him, window down, grooving to the subtle beats of Travis Scott all summer.
When the call came and a down-heartened voice drifted over the line, I knew that I needed to settle myself for the afternoon with my understanding yet optimistic face poised.
The thing about our son is that he is actually a good kid and he is one of life's naturally successful people. I hated kids like him when I was at school. Good at sports, strong academically and genuinely likeable; a triple threat. He is not used to failing.
I have to confess, apart from my own devastation that I will now have to spend the summer as his passenger, awaiting his new test, listening to 'Trav' and someone called Bryson Tiller who, to be honest, sound exactly the same... I am not unhappy that he has failed at something. I have said for many years that it is important for us all to experience failure and disappointment. We only develop resilience through overcoming adversity and I see too many young people who lurch into crisis at the first sign of failure because they don't know how to deal with it.
Also, as an educator, I have always believed that you learn nothing new from getting something right. We learn at the point of a mistake or on the realisation that we don't know something or can't do something.
I hope this means my son will be a better driver for it and that soon I will be able to consign "On my Dis Side" by Travis and his big mate Quavo to the glove box!