Yes, I know you just sang that title in your head. I am so sorry. However, I need your complete attention. Do I have it now? Good.
A new step in parenting was braved today… It’s been years in the making. There was lots of sweating, heart pounding, pulse racing… all done by Mom. If you haven’t taken such parenting steps yet, let me tell you there is no preparing for the sight. Seriously, there really is no way to prepare for the feelings that run through you as your baby drives off alone for the first time.
Yes, I thought I was ready. I was one cool cucumber as he got his permit (though driving with a first time driver is unnerving). Maybe, dare I say, even excited at the promises of another driver to help with school runs, practice runs, store runs and general aspects of just getting things done.
On the day of his 16th birthday, we ventured to the land of sloths, otherwise known as the dreaded DMV. Upon our arrival, we discovered a two hour wait before us, putting us right on the start of his one class he felt he really should be present for that day. Sigh. We left and figured we would be back the next week. But life… and play rehearsal/performance… and soccer practice… and homework… and… and… and suddenly we were into June without a license. It’s summer people. Enough.
You wanna know what put him into gear to actually go? We found a car. An affordable car. His car. And it sat in our driveway. And he drove it with parents inside. Suddenly that license looked like a need to the boy.
So back to the sloths… Early. Before they opened, we were outside their doors waiting. And waiting. And waiting. For 30 minutes beyond their listed operation time. I have no idea what emergency necessitated the delayed opening. Maybe equipment wasn’t working. Maybe a coffee run. Maybe they were slowly telling jokes and laughing while the rest of us stood impatiently outside their door.
Once we were extended The Golden Scepter of the Open Door, prefinished paperwork made for short lines and a quick exit. Let there be much rejoicing in the kingdom!
That is until the child, this baby moving in a near man’s body, walks out the door with keys in hand, and you stand at the door and watch. Yep, he’s actually getting into the car. Without you beside him. Yep, he’s actually starting the car. Without you beside him. Yep, he’s actually backing up. Without you beside him. Yep, he’s actually pulling out into the street… WITHOUT YOU BESIDE HIM!!!
And just like that, he’s out of your line of sight. Off on his own adventures. It is a good thing, you must remind your pounding heart and queasy stomach. It is a good thing. Letting him go is a good thing. You have given him the keys he needs to do well. This is his chance to prove it to himself, and the world. He’s got this.
And when he texts you pictures of another car like his in the parking lot of the mall, you will breathe a little easier. And when he pulls back into your driveway, you will breathe fully again. It is a good thing, Mom. Really. Let it go.