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June 30, 2009

Keys, Please!

It's been three weeks now since Tyler got his drivers license.

June 10th-not even a full month has passed.

Ahh, the memories. It seems so long ago, those days of me toting him around.

I was so sad at seeing him drive off that first morning.

My first born child, taking the lives of his brothers in his hand as he drove them off to swim practice.

I stood on the front porch and watched, ready to throw my body down to stop him from leaving.

My, how a few short weeks can change everything.

Three weeks later, I still worry each time he drives off. There is still a little teeny pang in my heart and the prompt to drive safe and text me when he arrives.

My neighbor tried to tell me how happy I would be once Tyler could drive.

At the time we were drinking martinis. It made no sense to me.

All I could think about was someone running over my baby. And to be fair, I still do worry about that. I'm sure I always will.

But the rest of me is high-fiving myself, secretly woo-hooing, every single day!

In the past three weeks, he has driven himself to work, made more trips to pick up fast food for himself and his brother than I can count, dropped off dry cleaning, picked up dry cleaning, dropped one kid off at the orthodontist, picked another up at a friends house.

I even got really brave yesterday and allowed him to do our grocery shopping.

What did I do before I had my own personal errand runner?

Every parent needs one of these, it's the best thing since unlimited texting.

All those times I could barely get him out of his room, off the couch, or to speak in anything beyond a mumble are a thing of the past.

Car keys hold such enormous power, I had no idea!

If parents of younger kids knew this, we would instantly be writing our Congressmen asking to get the legal driving age lowered.

All I have to do now is request an errand and just like the magic trick that made his brothers disappear yesterday, asking a new driver to run an errand is just the opposite.

The jingle of car keys is like waving that magic wand.


They instantly reappear.

Happy. Cheerful. Speaking in full sentences. Right before your eyes, like a little lap dog, ready to perform whatever trick you need.

It's just amazing.

I'm trying to take full advantage of this before he catches on to me.

At some point me 'allowing' him to run up to Target is going to turn into me 'begging' him to run to Target. I know that day is coming.

So far he hasn't figured that out. I know my days are numbered.

For now, it's cool to drive mom's car, which has a great air conditioner and even better radio.

I know he likes my radio, I learned that the hard way.

Monday morning, I rushed out the door for work, hands full of a too many work items, 2 Diet cokes, cell phone, laptop, purse, never enough caffeine by that point, and can barely get to the car without dropping something.

Turn on the engine first, trying to get the air conditioner going, since it's 110 degrees by 8 am and my face is starting to melt.

Remember the old Bill Cosby routine about a parent getting in a car after a teen?

The man was famous for a reason.

The radio nearly blew out my ear drum and car speakers in the same second.

No more need for the Diet Cokes or caffeine, I was well awake at that moment.

How can a child listen to music THAT loud?

In fact how can a child listen to THAT music?

I managed to peel myself up off the driveway, crawl over to the radio and hit mute.

Whichever of my neighbors were lucky enough to still be in bed were thanking me, I am sure, for the 8 am wake up call they didn't request.

Oh well.

My speakers survived (although I did mention to Tyler that my radio maxes out at 30 on volume so 27 might be a wee bit loud? Very sheepish grin. Oops.)

If you have a up and coming teen driver, be prepared to worry. It has, easily, been the scariest thing I have done as a parent. Hands down.

But it's also been the most fun.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

But you might want to turn down the radio first.

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