Opinion: My son, the new driver


How do I describe, in 350 words or less, the multitude of emotions that bombarded me when my oldest obtained his driver’s license? I have no idea, but doggoneit, I’m gonna try!

The first feeling that hit was relief. This has been a long-anticipated event in our household for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is having a third driver able to pick up/drop off at dance, volleyball, tae kwon do, track, PRE, student council, Orff, art club, cross country, Sports Clips, Yogurtz and Subway. [Carpooling and I no longer must maintain our façade of niceties and can finally go our separate ways; I wish him the best of luck!]

Piggy-backing relief was pride. We have kept our heir alive for sixteen years and instilled in him not only excellent roundabout negotiating skills, but also, gasp, civic responsibility! While completing the paperwork at the BMV, he registered as an organ donor and inquired about his eligibility to vote in the next Presidential election. Our son may live in a pig sty of a room and think fruit snacks are nutritional, but, by God, he might just make a real contribution to society after all!

Finally, and this one didn’t land until I glanced in my rearview mirror and saw Geoffrey behind the wheel of his grandfather’s Ford Explorer, I felt abject terror. I had just consented to giving a teenage boy the power to kill not only himself, but everyone in the northern Indianapolis suburbs. [Insert emphatic cussing here.] True, his provisional license places limits on when he can drive (not between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.) and on his passengers (no friends for another six months), but still, he can now cause, and be the victim of, both minor fender benders and horrific car accidents. Even worse? There’s not a single thing I can do about it. The last thread of parental protection has been cut, and my 6’2” baby is on his own!

Raising children is hard, but wading through the emotions of watching them grow is even harder. Peace out.

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