My eldest recently turned 16.
Obtaining her driver’s license is now officially REALLY close to happening.
I knew this milestone day was coming and it is a huge step—for me!
The past few months of getting the all-important hours behind the wheel taken care of have been a true test of self-control—mine. Trying not to scream, duck or grab the wheel as trees and mailboxes reach out to trip us up, the cars in the next lane decide to race us and every dog being walked on the sidewalk next to the road chooses to careen mindlessly into our path. My white knuckle death grip on the arm rest, as we apparently are headed right into a ditch is purely reflective of my perspective as a front seat traveler. I never realized the position so close to the edge of the road could rapidly age the parent passenger of a new driver.
My daughter is a very good, careful driver.
I’m the problem. Probably some kind of Control Thing but sitting in the passenger seat definitely changes my perspective—of driving and, more importantly, of her.
Once cute little squirrels are now evil Harbingers of Deadly Distraction as they forget only cats have nine lives and make an often ill-fated decision to change direction when crossing the road. When did our car become a Squirrel Magnet?
I’m sure the music was never that loud when I was learning to drive and there couldn’t have possibly been this many other cars on the road…There definitely weren’t any cell phones then.
Yes, it’s me. She is growing up and I have always been the part of The Ride that gets her where she is going…..now she is getting ready to go along on her own.
Not as painful as that first day of leaving her at preschool but just as poignant, this big step in being on her own carries a lot of responsibility. She is handling it beautifully.
Besides being safe, careful and cautious, she just needs to remember to take me with her sometimes…..
I'm very fortunate as my children seem to enjoy--or at least tolerate--my company. The greatest compliment is overhearing them repeat some sage wisdom I'm certain they learned from me or sharing laughter over nonsense that strikes us the same hysterical way.
My kids are growing up.
I know I will always be a passenger on Their Ride---even when I’m not in the car.