My daughter turned 17 earlier this week, and obtained her driver’s license today. I hope this will be more of a relief than a worry to me. She’s not a wild kid. My worry would be more how she’d handle other stupid acts by others. But you have to let them out into the world at some point.
In fact, I pushed her a little. I’ve always tried to think of myself as a mom who didn’t try to rush my kids. Though I have had to give nudges now and then. But I figured forward progress was forward progress; they didn’t have to be fastest or first. At times it’s seemed as if I were pulling one or the other of the kids along by baby steps. But now that I’ve taken on a lot of responsibility for my mom, I feel more as if I’ve abandoned baby steps and I’m giving them each a big shove on the back toward independence, because I need to.
I need my daughter to drive to take over some errands from me, or at least to get herself where she needs to go on occasion without pulling me away from something else. I hate to admit it, but my entire plan for getting my son home each day from summer school has been this: my daughter gets her driver’s license. I’m not sure what I would have done otherwise. His classes will let out during a time my husband and I are both at work.
I remember how nerve-wracking it was the first few times I rode shotgun after my daughter got her learner’s permit. At the time, I thought nothing could be much scarier. But now I know seeing her drive off by herself will cause me every bit as much anxiety.
It’ll be fine, I’m sure. After a while it will start to seem routine, her driving. And I’ll start to relax. Then it will be time for my son to get his permit…