Fifteen (See Also: Drivers Ed.)

by | Apr 30, 2014 | Family & Friends, Parenting/Family | 2 comments

I am jumping the gun a just little bit here.

My son hasn’t turned fifteen yet. But he will in a matter of weeks.


fifteenBack when my oldest was a busy, busy, BUSY preschooler… there was the stress of getting him signed him up in time for summer activities. Or the stress over whether he’d get into the right session of preschool or kindergarten or it would screw-up nap time for baby sister FOR A YEAR.

Of course there was the stress of him running out of a store and straight into a busy parking lot that one time.


Today’s stress: Getting him into DRIVER’S ED.

Who puts their own spawn behind a wheel??!!!

In June my son will be fifteen. That means driver’s ed is an option.

I used to think I’d wait until my son wept tears of blood from begging so hard to let him get his license. When a kid is 3 and raids the pantry while you are in the shower so he can chug pancake syrup while watching tv… it’s hard to imagine letting that hot mess behind a wheel.

But memories fade. The baby face is replaced with a man-ish face and the time does come.

I found myself having to release my former convictions (not ever letting him drive) and consider the pros and cons.


But then there are the less-obvious pros: like, if he doesn’t take driver’s ed now, there will be no other opportunity (due to extra curricular activities) until next summer. WHEN HE’S SIXTEEN.

I can’t even.

::hold me::

  • Who knows what THAT summer will be like. I know it will work this summer.
  • If he starts driver’s ed when he’s older then he will have less time to be under my husband’s and my thumb watchful eye. Driver’s ed now, means at least a year under our thumb without argument.

Not that’s he’s an arguer. He’s a good kid. That helps sooth my worry… a bit. He’s as worried about causing an accident as I am worried about him getting into an accident. BIG props to me for raising creating a Type-A/paranoid mini-me!

Sometimes passing on one’s dysfunction has its benefits.

And to be completely honest… the thought of having another driver around to lighten the load doesn’t stink.

Not having to drive to the other side of town to take AND pick him up from practice 5 days a week? That does not stink.



JUST for things like lacrosse practice.

His driver’s ed confirmation came in the mail yesterday – my oldest WILL start driver’s ed this summer.

Suddenly I want to rush back to the day I found him chugging that syrup bottle in front of the TV… to the days I had to strap him in the car (often times with a fight)… to the days I didn’t have to deal with his repeated requests to get Snapchat… to the days the only media that got to him was the media I chose.

I ran the remote control and bought the DVDs.

Every decision back then felt so big.

And they were.

The parenting decisions built on each day, built on each week, then month, now years.

I didn’t realize that each decision I made on his behalf in our early days… was quite possibly more for me.

For now.

So I’d be ready(ish) for these days.

The little bits of letting go… the little bits of reigning my little guy back in.

We were both learning and adjusting.

Not unlike a dance. A mother-child dance.

That relationship continues. Even the dancing. But the steps are more complicated. Maybe faster. More complex.

Built on our first steps.

I’m grateful we didn’t just land at this point. We both needed that time.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind more time.

Isn’t that the rub? We work so hard to raise capable, independent young people and when they become awesome, capable, independent people, we want to dig out that old car seat and strap them back in.

The confirmation letter from the drive school, “Please check with your insurance company to be sure you have appropriate coverage for your vehicle.”


The baby books never said we should start saving for teen boy driver’s insurance.

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