I have a child that has been driving for almost 2 years, a boy. I also have another child with a permit, and will get a driver’s license in July, a girl. She always wants to drive, and I get it … I was 16 once upon a time, too. She’s a very good driver … Actually, she’s such a good driver, that she “kindly” tells me how to drive, at times … yeah, it’s impressive! <insert heavy eye roll>.
That being said, why do I have such a hard time handing her the keys, and just letting her drive?! Things would be a lot less “yelly”, if I just gave her the keys, every single time we have a place to go, but I don’t … and if I’m being honest, I won’t. Because after a lot of soul-searching, I have come to the conclusion, that since I cannot control the hands of time, I can control whose hands the keys land in. She has the rest of her life to drive, I only have three months left to be her chauffeur, before getting a car of her own, and ONLY a little over a year, before she graduates high school, and starts her own life. I know it sounds dumb … I know she should be practicing … and she does, just not as much as she wants. Once she has a car of her own, and the “freedom” to come and go, I’m pretty sure she’ll go, more than she comes, and I’m okay with that, at that point in time. I am the person who likes to celebrate growth and milestones, and very much looks forward to a reason to celebrate my children. I try to not be overly sentimental, however, it’s a different set of emotions, that is so unexplainable to parents who haven’t been here yet. Knowing that the time is coming for my older two children to spread their wings and fly, is a lot to handle. As much as parents “look forward” to empty-nesting, it’s a wee bit scary for this mama. I feel secure in how we’ve raised our children, to be great products of society, but have I really done enough?! Will my “life lessons” resonate with them … Will they remember my words when it’s time to make an important decision?!
Oh my goodness … Have I done enough?!
It’s a scary reality knowing that your kids will be on their own, making grown up decisions, making mistakes, hopefully learning from those mistakes, and growing from them. My daughter has this false sense of reality, that as long as you’re doing the right thing, everything is peachy keen. In a sense, yes it could be, but you never know what bumps in the road could arise, what crazy forks in the road you will come in contact with, and have to make a decision … LEFT or RIGHT?! Have I done enough, have I said enough, have I taught them enough?!
At the end of the day, and in my defense (wink wink) … I know she’ll be okay … I have been in the car with her enough, to know that she will be just fine. She thinks she neeeeeds to practice, I know that even with all the practice in the world, it doesn’t stop all the assholes that ARE on the road, and as long as she’s paying attention and doing the right thing, she will be fine.
For now, I’m holding on to the little girl who never wanted to leave my side … the little girl who couldn’t let me leave the house without her being in tow … the little girl that I have a bond with that no one can touch … the little girl who used to sleep in my bed … the little girl who looked at her mama with those green eyes …
… the little girl that I am just having a hard time, letting go!!
6 thoughts on “Holding On.”
I’m sleepy, so I’m going to get some shut eye now. I’ll come back and give this my full attention xx
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It’s been a crazy few weeks, my friend. Hoping the calmer weather, has me a bit more settled, moving forward!! Hope you are well, A! xo
Firstly – what a beautiful girl!
I don’t know if you know this, but here in the UK the legal driving age is 17 and (I may be wrong?) but I think they’re rethinking that (to make it older). None of my 3 drive, although my son did take lessons for a while. My eldest was offered lessons but declined, because – as she said herself – she wanted to do other things with her money. There are a lot of 17 year olds here who want to drive immediately but not all do. I certainly wasn’t interested at 17 and was 25 when I finally passed my test. I hadn’t been taking lessons long.
Here, as in the States, there are a number of parents who fund their kid’s first car/insurance etc, but it’s prohibitive for many. My parents were a one car family. My dad never took me out driving and, as I left home at 17, getting the keys to his car was never an option. I bought my first car a while after I passed my test and my husband and I were living with each other by then. He wasn’t a driver either (in fact I passed my test before he did) and nowadays, I’m the named driver because I drive it way more than he does. Financially, I can’t even consider helping my kids out now, but I’ve funded my own cars so kinda expect them to do the same. I’ve never had to hand my keys over….but, and here’s me being brutally honest, I’d rather cut off my key-wielding hand! My car is my car and just as I expect them to respect that, I wouldn’t ask to borrow theirs.
As for letting go of them – I’m the opposite of you, I think. I WANTED them to go, to spread their wings, to see the world, to find out about all the shit things like bills and all the good things that being independent can offer too. My eldest got her first job at 14 because she wanted to ‘go to concerts’ and when she was 20 she got herself a work visa and moved to New Zealand. Unusually, instead of wanting her to come home, I was gutted when she had to – not for me, but for her. It was the right thing but now she’s moved away again (only 100 miles away, which is great) and I think we’re closer because of that. My son’s absence is sad, but he’d been gone for a lot longer than most people know. It’s the right thing for him. When I last saw him (day before his 21st) he was decorating his new flat. He was so proud and competent and focused. So, though it may seem odd that I’m NOT heartbroken that he’s out of my life – the fact is that he’s more than capable of being on his own.
But don’t think that I’m saying you SHOULD be pushing them out the door. What I’ve realised is that what’s right for us is not necessarily right for others. How you FEEL is how you feel. My b-i-l stayed at home til he got married at 42 (I shit you not) and even if that is an extreme case, who’s to say that it shouldn’t be that way. I think that cultures who live together or in close proximity, who are there for each other and who have each other’s backs, are quite enviable – although, if it were me, I’d be more likely to end my days in a padded cell – and I’m beginning to really enjoy my alone time. 😉 x
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Sorry for the blog on your blog ffs!
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Oh my goodness … You never cease to make me smile! FFS has become my new favorite saying, thank you for that! Kids here in the states, get a permit at 16, a probationary license at 17 for one year … and then no holds barred by 18, or whatever is one year from your probationary license. Kids (most) in the states JUMP at the chance to drive … FREEEEEDOM from the RENTS (parents)!!! What they don’t realize is the cost that is involved with having such a “freedom” … which is why my kids will buy their own cars, pay their own insurances, registration, gas, blah blah blahhhhh! My kids have also been working, since they could … If you WANT it … buy it … if you NEED it … I got you! It’s how I was raised … it’s how my husband was raised … We have four kids all together, and I’m a stay at home mom (for the moment) so our kids would have to be smoking crack if they thought we were buying them their first car! We will help, in any way we can … but that’s it!
I love that you took the time to blog on my page! It’s how I get to know you … I know that if we lived in a close proximity of each other, we would be the best of friends .. there is no doubt in my mind … So never apologize for being you … I like you … If I didn’t … welllll then … need I say more?! lol
So, I guess I made this sound mushier than I wanted … hahaha!! … Like, with my son … it’s different … he’s been trying to spread those wings for a little while now … I neeeeed him to grow up and learn a few lessons … there’s just something about my little girl that I’m not ready to let go of …. YET … I’ll get there … for now … Still holding on!! (wink wink)
I still have my little one home … She will be 8 in May … TEN MORE YEARS until I’m officially an empty-nester, and by that time, I’ll probably be a grandma too … so, there is so much to look forward to … I try to not look back, or hold on to ANYTHING … This middle child of mine, though … one day at a time, I suppose. I’m going to catch up on all my peeps writings over the next few days. My little one has 1/2 days this week, then off on Friday, and all next week for Easter / Spring Break … So I’ll be busy with her, but will have time to FINALLY catch up with everyone! Happy Tuesday!!! xo
I need to change my wording … KIDS in New Jersey, get permits at 16, probationary at 17, and regular license at 18 … each state has their own laws when it comes to driving. Kids in some southern states, get their permit at 15, and license at 16 … that’s just CRAZY!! okay .. just had to expand on that one comment. hahaha!