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Watching Her Drive Away

First time behind the wheel

My daughter recently got her driver’s license. It was a big relief to me. I was no longer committed to the morning carpool (at 7:00 am!) and she could get herself home from her various activities that never end at the scheduled time. Any parent knows that the kid shuffle/schedule can be tricky. It is a double edged sword feeling some relief as they move into independence which takes away some of our shuffle responsibility, but at the same they are out on the a moving vehicle...with other drivers.

The first day she drove off to school by herself, I watched her from the window. I tried to be stealthy, but I’m not that cool. I waved her off like the dorky mom that I am. It took me back to walking her to elementary school. Her driving away was an end to an era. I hadn’t walked her to school in years, but it really felt like a chapter had closed. Don’t worry I didn’t dissolve into a puddle of sentimentality. But, it did strike me that time moves so quickly.

Today, my younger daughter is graduating from eighth grade. I have the feeling this is going to be an emotional day for me. After this both of my kids will be in high school. Another end to an era. I again have that sense of time moving quickly. I want to tell you their childhood seems like a blur. But, when I look back I can catch moments from throughout their lives. I can see laughter and fun, arguments and timeout, fears, successes, complete meltdowns (theirs and mine), singing, adventures, joy, sadness, and loss. It is all there if I stop and take the time to remember. It has gone fast, but I wouldn’t change any of it. I think the lesson for me (and hopefully it resonates with you too) is to stop and take it in. It will still go fast. It will be tomorrow and I’ll be reminiscing on the graduation before I know it. But, today I will try to be present and enjoy the festivities as yet another era comes to a close.

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