I just watched my 17 year old son pull out of the driveway to take himself, by himself, to a golf course.
Parents are often hyper-aware of their children’s milestones, especially in the early years, but really, the milestones keep happening even when we stop taking photographic evidence. And the teen years, when kids have a natural urge to step away from the parental embrace, are full of such milestones.
Not all of them are victorious. Some milestones are about failures or uncomfortable lessons, all of which bring volatile emotional impact on both the kids and their parents.
When my son turned 16 we were deep in lockdown after lockdown. He wrote his written test immediately after his birthday and did fine. Practicing driving took a little bit of time but was mostly directed by me, not his dad. I wanted it that way, especially after I moved out. It was our way to stay connected.
It took another year for him to take the driving test, because naturally the continuous lockdowns in this province caused both staff shortages and backlogs.
My boy has his licence now, but he and I continue to drive together. He still needs a bit more practice on the highway, especially the merging on and off short ramps, but he’s basically ready to manage on his own.
Today, he’s driving outside of his neighbourhood and on city streets to the golf course about a half hour away.
It’s a big milestone, for him and for parents.
Im fine. I’m not nervous. I’m quietly excited, particularly because I was here, at the kids’ house, able to witness the event of him packing the car with his equipment and pulling out of the driveway on his own. I don’t spend a lot of time here at this house, which makes it extra special.
My daughter announced the other day that among her girl tribe, she is the only one interested in obtaining her driver’s licence as soon as she turns 16. That’s a year and a half away, but I get the impression she’s looking forward to it. She declared herself the designated driver for her friends already, making me wonder where these young people are planning on going with cars they neither own nor likely are able to finance full tanks for… 😀
So, as I sit here waiting for said daughter to wake up and get ready for our appointment, I type about my son, wondering simultaneously how he’s doing out there in the morning traffic.
Thank you for reading my post. 💖