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Born to Drive This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Slow down, Sarah!” my mother screams, sitting on the dashboard of the car. I recently received my permit and can legally drive, but my mother doesn’t realize that I was born to drive. I was ready to drive the day I stepped into my Barbie Jeep at the age of four.

My mother thinks I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s as though I’ve never been on trillions of road trips, never watched her shake her fist at other drivers, or never stared at the pedals wishing she’d let me drive. Over the years, I have studied how drivers use the gas pedal, when they accelerate and when they brake, and when to feel road rage. But, oh, my mother acts like cars were just invented and I have no idea what a horn does.

Like every good parent, my mom wants to make sure that I, an “inexperienced teenager,” am aware of squirrels darting out in front of moving cars or couches falling off trucks. But I know the basic rules: When the light is yellow, you accelerate; when you see the police, you (discreetly) slow down; if a car cuts you off, you remember the old saying “Revenge is sweet” and my favorite, you never pick up hitchhikers unless they are willing to pay.

She has her own rules, though. For example, I’m not allowed to talk on my cell phone while driving; I’m not allowed even to think about turning on my favorite song (let alone look at the radio); and I must have a full stomach before driving because being hungry and driving at the same time is out of the question.

I can’t wait for the day when I can be the Lone Ranger driving around in my mom’s car. Although I will miss her slamming down on her imaginary passenger-seat brake, and threatening to make me pull over and switch, I know I will enjoy driving much more blasting my favorite song, talking to my boyfriend on my cell and stuffing my face with french fries while speeding down the highway with nothing to fear.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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