The day has finally come…

I did not think that this day would come as soon as it has but alas it has. I have a 16 year old. Keep in mind that he has been 16 for a good nine months now so this is not a sudden realization. The day we are talking about is the day that marks the rite of passage for most teenagers these days – the driver’s license and the cell phone.

Andrew passed the state driver’s license test on Friday morning making him a legal driver in the State of Texas. He can now officially drive by himself in a car on the roads unsupervised by an adult. He is a street legal kid. Originally, I had it in my mind that the boys would be older when they learned to drive. I was older and their father was older. There was no real need for them drive the minute they turned 16 years old. Then it happened.

Parenting is about remembering that circumstances are always changing and you have to go with the flow. If you do not remain flexible, you will break. Due to our changing circumstances, we were going to have to change our opinion on how soon they would get to drive or “mommy” was going to break. The reality of the situation is that there is only one “mommy” and unless we suddenly found a way to clone her it just was not going to work any other way. This was no longer a situation of a normal 16 year old boy wanting to learn how to drive, it was a situation where me, as a mom of a 16 year old boy, needed him to learn how to drive. So it began.

Of course when the day actually came, I decided it would be a day of celebration. Inside I was extremely happy. We did not layout the pomp and circumstance though. No bells. No whistles. Instead it was a day of mom scrambling to get him a parking pass at the high school so that come Monday morning he could drive himself to school.

The questions and worry had started. We knew he could drive, but here was out oldest child taking his first solo drive out into the world and it was horrifying. I can honestly say, however, that his father was more worried that I was. Was he ready for this? Could he do this? Would he be okay? Was the $500 we had spent on driver’s education enough? Had he put in enough practice hours behind the wheel before he took the test? I am sure both of our minds were swimming in questions and doubt.

The next day, Saturday, we went and took the next step to insure that no matter what we could have some peace of mind where our child was concerned. It is a big world out there. It is even scary. Up until now we have never felt the need to take this step, but if anything where to happen we needed him to be able to get in touch with us immediately. We needed him to be able to make the proper calls immediately. He is a smart kid, but we all know what happens when bad things happen – panic sometimes sets in. We did not need this to happen to our kid.

So we have a teenager with a driver’s license and a cell phone.

I suppose I would be more worried if he was not my teenager. He’s a good kid.

We let him take his first solo drive last night. He had a meeting with the “Eagle Scout Coordinator” in our Ward. Ben and Kyle were going Home Teaching about the same time. Lance was sick. It just had to happen. He was not going far. Still it is scary turning your kid out there for the first time. Those commercials on TV with the father seeing the little kid behind the wheel of the car? Yep, that is what it is like. There was my baby getting behind the wheel of this car in the dark, no less. Worry sets in.

I do have to give him credit though, he sent me a text when he got there and told me that he had arrived safely. He then sent me a text when he was leaving to let me know he was on his way home. That was just enough to let me know that he was okay and just enough to set a mother’s heart at rest.

He made it to school just fine this morning. That text this morning was just enough to let us know he was just fine. He told us that he was going to wait a few minutes after school until the parking lot clears out a little bit before he leaves so he is not in the crazy rush out of the parking lot. We are perfectly fine with that decision. There is no reason to be in that rush.

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