Chandler got his drivers license two weeks ago. It is wonderful and frightening at the same time.
He passed his driving test the first time he took it. (Unlike me, who flunked it three times before I passed. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh. I’m used to it. I’ve been getting shit about it from my family for 30 years. Whatever. And BTW – I’m not a bad driver. I just freeze up and get very nervous during manual tests. I swear.)
I think it helped that he had a driving lesson three days before the test and they took him on the driving test route several times and I took him several more. He felt pretty confident. And he should have. He’s a good driver. For a 16 year old.
When he got his license the woman at the DMV congratulated him and then said, “You think you have freedom now, but the truth is now you’re going to be your parents’ slave. You’ll be running errands for them all the time.”
“I laughed and said, “You got that right!”
The first time he drove alone it was three days after he got his license. He went to buy a gift card for a Sweet 16 birthday party he was attending the next night. It was dark. And raining. I posted this on Facebook:
And then I thought, “Oh god. What if something does happen? And I posted that snarky comment. What the hell is wrong with me?” (What is wrong with me is I’m the queen of using humor at inappropriate times to mask unpleasant feelings. It’s one of my many, many charms.)
I spent the next 17 minutes being very unsettled until I heard him come through the front door.
A week after Chandler had his license we asked him to run to the market to return a video to Redbox. He looked at us and said, “When the lady at the DMV said I’d be running your errands I didn’t believe her. I didn’t think you’d be that kind of parents.” Oh you are wrong about that my son. Very wrong indeed.
Yesterday we went to a Super Bowl party and for the first time Dave and I could both drink (or rather both drink a lot) because we had a designated driver. Hooray! I’m not sure if we’re being responsible parents or irresponsible parents by drinking too much at a party and having our teenage son drive us home, but I’m going to say responsible parents. (Right?)
It’s so weird though. Watching your child grow up so fast. And I know it’s cliche, so please forgive my lack of cleverness and originality. Everyone with older kids says it to me and I say it to parents of younger kids. And we are all right.
It. Happens. So. Fast.
How is it possible that the tiny little 7 pound 6 ounce baby I held in my arms for the very first time 16 years ago is driving a car? He’s got car keys in his hand and one foot out the door. I know that he’s ready but I’m not ready. It leaves me unsettled. I want him to come back through the front door.