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June 11, 2009

Milestones

Yesterday was Tyler's 16th birthday.

I think for a parent, having officially passed that milestone now, I can say that having a child turn 16 is one of those moments where you look at your newborn and see their life flash before your eyes, and you almost literally look up again and they are asking for keys.

To say it goes by fast would be such an understatement.

Cliche for sure, but unbelievably true.

I think I've handled the fact that he has an official license and sort of car very well.

I let him drive to work today, by himself.

There is a part of me that wants to throw my body in front of the car when he leaves and beg him to stop.

Just dont go.

Stop the driving.

Stop the getting older.

Just stop for a moment or two and let me hang on to him, right here and right now.

16. Imagine the freedom of your first car and being 16.

And while Tyler might not agree with me now, I think the make and model of your first car is irrelvant.

I mean sure, a new Camaro in 1985 would have awesome, a Mustang, there would have been no words.

That was not my world and that is not the world my kids live in.

Tyler's car is a 1995 5 speed Honda that we bought when Chase was 2 weeks old and there was no Jordan at the time. It's far from beautiful.

But it runs. Well, so far it's run about 200,000 miles. But it runs.

There is no air conditioning right now as Tyler turns 16 in June.

But it runs.

AND, the radio works, which as we all know, is the second most important thing to a working engine. A loud radio.

Remember the freedom of being 16 and driving your first car, for the first time, with no parents.

It might have been the biggest jalopy on the planet but the fact that you could actually go somewhere, without parents, with music blaring, seemed to be the absolute most awesome experience anyone could imagine.

As I agreed to let him drive to work today, with specific instructions as to which streets he could and could not drive down yet, I think a part of me knew that it would do me no good, as hard as I tried, to stop today, or that first drive alone (with the windows up due to the new tint and remember, the car has no air conditioning yet) from coming.

And somehow, I knew that it was his right to have that moment of freedom and my responsibility to give the moment to him.

It was not easy, let me be clear.

He had strict rules, and still has strict rules, to text me when he leaves and arrives to work and when he heads home.

And if the text had not arrived, I would have driven across town from work to find him if needed.

But, the 'I'm here' text arrived right on time, as did the 'I'm leaving.'

When he arrived home from work, the conversation went something like this:

Me: "How did the drive home go?"

Tyler: "Well, it was hot for sure."

Pause.

Tyler: "But it sure was cool driving alone." Big grin.

He had his moment.

And as he walked out he said, "oh, by the way, I found out you cannot start a 5 speed from third gear." Another grin. He's learning.

If you live in the Spring, Texas area and frequent the Louetta/Ella/Cypresswood area, please watch out for a 1995 red Honda driving down the road with the radio blaring and the windows down and a sweaty, cute 16 year old driving.

My life is in that car.

2 comments:

brian on June 11, 2009 said...

it'll be ok, mom - you gotta learn to let them grow and go... i used to have to come in and let my mom know when i got home every night, no matter what time. she said she couldn't sleep well til she knew i was home =) today is both jessica's bday and jim's sister's bday too =)

JustMom on June 11, 2009 said...

Well, if I remember, you had to let your mom know but that was after she caught you sneaking out the window and locked the window so you could not sneak back in and made you come in through the front door one night. Brilliant. I so appreciate now that she thought of that! I am considering parking my car behind his at night, just so there is no urge for any late night runs to umm...Mcdonalds?

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