"Next year at this time, I'll be able to drive myself," my fifteen-year-old daughter reminded me for the third time that week as I drove her to a friend's home one evening.

In Toronto, license to drive a car is granted from age sixteen, and a few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, my oldest daughter is eagerly anticipating the event.

I vividly remember my own enthusiasm two decades ago when I, too, was her age and awaiting this newfound freedom. Having just moved to a suburb of Toronto and far from friends and school, my parents encouraged me to drive. My old jalopy became the envy of my friends as I experienced the autonomy as well as the responsibility that driving a car entails.

I remember, too, years later before leaving my parents' home to establish my own, how I encouraged my own mother, at a later stage of her life, to learn this skill. I was gratified to reverse roles for once and reciprocate a tiny part of the support and patience that I had learned from her. To this day, she expresses her gratitude for my perseverance.

As my oldest daughter prepares to face this new stage of her life, I can't help but reminisce how just yesterday I cautiously bundled her into the infant car seat as my husband drove us home from the hospital where she was born. Then she was a passive observer, accommodated and catered to by those around her. Now, she has developed into an active participant, prepared to give and do for others.

Then she was in the back seat, enjoying the ride. Now she is ready to take the challenge and responsibility of the driver's wheel.

I try to think of what insight I can provide her as she confronts these new challenges.

Many of the dos and don'ts of driving, she will learn from her instructors. But these are the life lessons that I will try to impress upon her as she embarks on her new journeys — motorized or otherwise:

In your haste to get to your destination, don't drive too fast. Aside from missing the beauty of the surrounding scenery, you will speed past important road signs providing direction and guidance.

On the other hand, don't drive so slowly that you become so sidetracked as to forget your destination and goal, altogether.

Realize that you are not the only one on your journey. Leave room and consideration for those sharing the road.

Carelessness, even momentarily, can cause untold damage to yourself and those around you.

Despite your most vigilant efforts, remember there are still blind spots in your vision. Realize this, so that you can make the necessary allowances.

And finally, no matter how extensively you study the rules of driving, nothing equals the real test of experience on the road.