I remember three little vignettes in the Learning to Drive chapter of my teen years, all featuring my dad. I drove a lot with my mom, too, but I prefered having my dad as a teacher. He was always calm.
Fashion: Dad said, "Always wear sensible shoes and your sunglasses." Up to this point sunglasses had been singularly a fashion accessory, not a precaution against blindness, and I deliberately did not own "sensible" shoes (unless we were talking about combat boots).
Embarrassment: The time I stopped at a stop sign on the slightest of hills and promptly panicked when the car behind me appeared to pull up to nearly kissing my bumper. Fearing I'd roll back into this car when I simultaneously operated all three foot pedals, I made/begged my dad go out and explain to the driver that they had to go around me. Mercifully they did. I busied myself with something on the passenger seat to avoid eye-contact with them. My dad and I sightly vow to never speak of this again.
Late Nights: Driving home after dark after night classes at the Jr. College. Earlier in the day I would have been dropped off for classes and then later, after working all day at IBM, and going home for dinner, my dad would come all the way back down the mountain to retrieve me. I'd then slide behind the wheel and drive the 15 miles back up the winding, dark highway so I could get some driving practice in. Often he'd doze off as we drove. I'm sure we talked but mostly I remember him being tired after a day that had begun before dawn. As he slept, I'd practice shifting gears so smoothly it was almost imperceptible -- just as he'd challenged me to do. More than once he'd suddenly jerk awake and lunge for the steering wheel, thinking he'd fallen asleep while driving. I've got it, Dad, it's ok. I've got it.
Now, some 20 years later, here we are again: me in the driver seat (sunglassed, and sensibly-shod, of course), him in the passenger seat. The car's an automatic transmission now, but still I try to drive smoothly. Now it is the protests of his stomach that I'm avoiding. Up and down the same winding mountain roads of my youth. Thirty minutes to town. Dappled sunlight, the smell of the fir trees... Thirty minutes back again. The high-pitched wail of a motorcycle coming up fast behind us...
I've got it, Dad, it's ok. I've got it.