Recently, I have been thinking a lot about my own childhood, or rather my teen years. My son is 16 and my daughter is 13 and those years I remember well. On Facebook, I see my friends from when I was 13 and 16 and it feels like it was yesterday. Or at least, I can’t believe that it’s been 30-something years.


Nathan learning to drive.

On my 16th birthday, I headed straight to the DMV (WI) in our Toyota to take the test. I passed the first time and shortly after, my Dad got a company car so the Toyota was mine…. Well, at least mine to drive to school, work and my friends. It wasn’t a glamorous vehicle, but I didn’t have to share it with anyone. I was the oldest and the only one who could drive. I do remember having to cart my little sister around and run errands for my mom.

Now my son is 16 and every time I take him out to practice driving in our Toyota Camry, it brings back all the memories of my own driving experience. The Toyota I drove was a stick shift (remember those?!) and I had to learn to drive it or else I’d be walking to school. My Dad spent hours with me and I’ll never forget when he took me to a big hill in our neighborhood and there was a stop sign about half way up the hill. We went to that stop sign and then he said we were not going home until I learned to drive that stick shift up that hill and stopping at the stop sign. I figured we’d be there for a week

toyota station wagon

My sister and the back of our Toyota station wagon.

My Dad must have been cringing inside because I made that horrible grinding sound when shifting to try to get into gear at the stop sign. I thought for sure he was going to yell at me, but he didn’t. Somehow he patiently let me grind the gears and eventually I got it. that was quite an accomplishment and I was so excited.

Now, I see my son struggle with learning to drive and I tell him the story of how I learned and the one thing we both have in common? We learned to drive in a Toyota. Those are the stories that I love.

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.