Momhood

Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Countdown to Let-Go

It occurred to me the other day. If things go the way we hope, I have about 25 days before it all changes. The beginning of the end. Welcome to my midlife melancholy melodrama.

In about 25 days, Valentine’s Day to be exact, my “baby” will go for her driver’s test. If all goes well, and I think it should, she’ll earn her driver’s license. She’ll be able to drive on her own.

Now, the license isn’t a guarantee. She might get a crabby tester or she might forget to signal or stop improperly or parallel park badly or a combination of all of the above. But even if she doesn’t pass the first time, she will inevitably take it again until she does and then things will change. Sooner rather than later.

What a strange place this is for me. I can remember when she and her brother were very young. I’d have these little daydreams where I’d wonder how fabulous it would be when I could leave the house when I wanted. In my mind, it all seemed like such a fantasy.

What’s that they say? Be careful what you ask for?

I know that this is the beginning of a whole new set of worries. Things to obsess over far worse than whether bathtime and bedtime will again be a giant battle of wills. My worries now turn to headline-inducing nightmares. Drunk-drivers. Mechanical failure. Toxic temptations. Bad people and choices out and about in the world, crossing her path.

And I’m not saying that what I’m giving up is all sunshine and roses. Seriously, another car ride in which I feel like I’m part of the Spanish Inquisition just trying to find out how the school day went is not a walk in the park. But at least it’s something.

In 25 days, she’ll drive away. She’ll come home every night and at least at first, she’ll probably be ecstatic and talkative. She will still need me for lots of things but for one small thing, transportation, she won’t. And for that, I’m a teeny bit sad. It’s the beginning of the loosening of my maternal death grip. Sigh.

3 Comments:

At 5:33 PM , OpenID booklady said...

Oh, that sounds so sad. I can't imagine how terrifying it would be to have a child out there on the road with some of those drivers. But I'm sure that you taught her to be careful and she'll be just fine. And the bonding doesn't stop when she is completely grown and out of the house. It's just...different. My mom and I are still friends, and I'm 31.

 
At 7:05 PM , Blogger kenju said...

I remember quite well when my first born got his license, and the first time he drove away from the house without me (in my van). I got a call just 20 minutes later that he had been in a accident, caused by the fact that he took his eyes off the road for a moment to put in an 8-track tape (you know now how long ago that was!) and his passenger was thrown upinto the windshield because he had not fastened his seat belt (it wasn't a law then). What a good lesson it was for him - and what a horrible time for me. But he never had another accident because he had truly learn his lesson. I hope your girl will be better at it, especially on her first try.

 
At 11:57 AM , Blogger Carmi said...

Hi there, Karen. I've been snowed under - literally and figuratively - with capital-s Stuff of late, and thought I'd drop in during a quiet moment to say hi.

We've got three years until our eldest hits that point. I can already feel the dread growing within me. I've written about letting go before, but having the words in front of me doesn't make it any easier.

 

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