Like most teenagers, Janie is anxious to learn how to drive. Her mother and father had disagreed about her readiness to do this, but in the end, give their consent.
Janie is fifteen, and when the question about her learning to drive comes up, her parents, "as always," take opposite sides in the matter. Janie's mother thinks that it is time for Janie to begin driving, but her father argues that she should not because "she's just a baby." Janie's mother points out that actually, Janie is "old," already a high school sophomore. Janie's father capitulates, grumbling affectionately that he wants his "little girl to stay little." Despite his desire that Janie not grow up so fast, her father admits that she has "grown up anyway," and reluctantly but good-natruedly gives his consent for her to begin to learn to drive.
Janie is excited! She knows that when her father comes home from work, he has a practice with the middle-school soccer teams, for whom he is the coach, but that when he is done, he will come home and they would go driving (Chapter 1).