The Right of Passage

Two and a half hours at the DMV and my son got his driver’s permit. Yes, he was ready for the road. Was I?

His life flashed before my eyes. My sweet precocious 4-year-old who counted to 100 by 10’s and then told me 10, 10 times, was 100, or 10 x 10 was 100. My fourth grader who would be so absorbed in a book that he would look up, realize everyone else had gone to lunch and run down the hall — without his lunch! My 12-year-old, who skipped everywhere in middle school. When I asked him if people might make fun of him, he said, “I don’t care what people think, Mom. It’s fun, faster and it makes me feel happy.” My sweet 9th grader who hugged his sister close and let her jump on his back in front of his friends after being gone for four days at a band trip. My loving 15-year-old who cut grass all summer, saving his money and then spent it on Christmas presents for others. My man-child who towers over me, hugs me tightly and has a scruffy cheek.

Time passes in the blink of an eye and soon my son will be off to college. Learning to drive is the next step on this journey to independence and it’s bittersweet.

It’s wonderful to see him mature into a thoughtful, kind and considerate young man. It’s great fun to laugh at the adult humor of The Big Bang Theory along side him. It’s heartwarming when he comes to me for advice on how to ask someone out. I cherish my special time with him, knowing that it’s fleeting.

Soon, those heavy footfalls will be gone. Soon, my daughter and I will be ready for church, dinner or whatever ON TIME. Soon, my heart will explode with pride for him on his next adventure, while silently dying a little as a little of my heart leaves the home.

Yes, the driver’s permit is just one more step toward his freedom and independence. I’m just not sure my heart is ready for it.

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