Underage Driver

by Barbara McFadden, M.Ed., LPC

Barbara McFaddenWaiting, impatiently, for the day when she can get her driver’s license is positively unbearable for the high school sophomore. She seizes the moment, when her parents are out-of-town, to take a little test drive. She will be careful, very careful.

She follows all her parents’ rules: seat belt buckled, radio off (to avoid distraction), no passengers, no eating, look right-left-right before crossing intersections, and watch the speed limits. All the rules but one–“drive only with us until you get your license”.

The young boy on the bright blue bicycle swerves in front of her! She slams on the brake and jerks the steering wheel sharply to the right. “No, oh no.” The car starts to slide towards the curb. She jerks the wheel back to the left. “What’s the matter with this car?” She can’t believe it’s so hard to control. It whips back towards the curb.

The end of the test drive is announced by the sound of tires squealing, brakes screaming, metal crunching, glass shattering, and young wood bending (in its resilience, not breaking) as the mid-sized red, four-door car left the roadway, jumped the curb, and landed broadside coming to rest against the tree.

“911–What is the nature of your emergency?”

About the Author: Being a Licensed Professional Counselor is a later-in-life professional goal. I returned to school in 2003 and received an Associate of Arts degree in Communications in 2005; Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Psychology in 2007; and my Master in Education in Counseling in May, 2010 from Sul Ross State University-Rio Grande College. I have recently completed a 3,000 hour internship and am awaiting receipt of my new Licensed Professional Counselor license from the State of Texas. I currently serve as President-elect for Texas Hill Country Counselor’s Association, a chapter of the Texas Counseling Association. I provide counseling services at New Hope Counseling Center, BCFS Health and Human Services, and Peterson Hospice/Bridging the Gap bereavement group for children and adults. I believe everyone has within them the knowledge and ability to make changes that will result in living a more fulfilling and satisfying life and that my role as a counselor is to help facilitate those changes.

My husband Jerry and I moved to Kerrville in July 2010. We are the parents of 9 adult children, grandparents to 24 children and young adults and great-grandparents to 15 babies and children.

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