How irritating to watch my younger brother pass his driving test first time, while it took me five attempts to pull it off. Finally certified, I proudly drove my mother into town....only to hear her criticise my driving! She explained that driving has more to do with reading the road than passing a test.

35 years on, my teenage son passed his driving test a fortnight before his eighteenth birthday. After opting for a gap year before university, driving became the main focus for his independence. Previously obliged to cycle 15km to and from work, his accomplishment liberated him and he immediately began accepting every available shift.

It’s less than a month later and realisation is quietly dawning on my son that it's not about the test. When he first mooted a gap year, his decision initiated a series of conversations about “the road ahead”. We pointed out forks and alluded to bends, in the hope he would familiarize himself with the path he has chosen. Perhaps we underestimated him. As he left for work this morning, the lad’s parting words floated back to me: "I need to find an easier way to bring in money."