Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Please fasten your seatbelts, We have started our descent.

Today, my youngest was awarded his driver's license. I expect that this was a much bigger event for him that it was for me. Hard to tell though, he plays it pretty cool. Not at all like his older sister. She gave the impression that getting her license was really the only, final thing, that forced her to have any extended interactions with her parents. As if, not having her own license was akin to that little drawstring bag that dog owners have dangling from their waist that contains bone shaped treats. The only reason their doting, prized yorkie pays any attention to their requests. Our ability to modulate her activities by controlling her transportation was, in her mind, the last step before parole and complete freedom.

You might have not even realized that our son's 16th birthday and the freedom it afforded was approaching. Of course there was the shift in the driving routines. Instead of either my wife or I driving and our son riding in the back seat, it got a little bit more complicated. At first it was business as usual if we were taking the freeway, but if it only involved city driving, then one of us would sit in the back, and he would get to drive. It seemed that even if the freeway would have been the best route, city street driving was chosen. So consequently, all trips got much longer.

Then, as his quiver of skills developed to include freeway driving, and then evening driving, it became more natural and it was more like we had 3 drivers in the house. Other then did certain pecking hierarchies between my wife and I that were previously understood, but heretofore never spoken, were brought to out in the open. This all resulted in a rule that particular one of us would never be the one who sits shotgun while the other rides in the back seat when our newest "driver under supervision" was at the wheel. This made for some awkward moments when boarding the car, but I am sure that it probably allowed for us to remain married.

So, now we are no longer required in order for him to get to school, to practice, to friends houses, to volunteering, to pick up something needed at the store. Other than being the source of the fuel in the vehicle and a check for a scheduling conflict, we are no longer part of that aspect of dependency.

That's actually the thing. Our son is a little bit less dependent on us to conduct his life than he was just yesterday. That is an incredibly wonderful thing for him, even if he is not letting on that he gets it. It really is. At the same time, it is also a bit more freedom for us, the previous chauffeurs. Our son's activities no longer requires an interruption of our activities in order to deliver him there, or pick him up. Now that we're there, I expect I'll miss that opportunity for discussions, arguments, laughing, or just listening to music (or whatever it is that he listens to).

Time will tell how much less interaction we will have between now and when he leaves for college in a couple years. But there is no denying that this is a major milestone in this trip.

1 comment:

Tonya said...

Cat's in the cradle . . . Sweet sentiments, Poppa.