Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Drivers

driver's licenseSpring has officially sprung, and for those of us with teenagers, that means milestone events like prom season and graduation. All of which require parties, and all of which – so I’m told – are much more fun when you can drive.

My oldest son, Denver, wasn’t in a hurry to get his driver’s license. While some parents would be frustrated at having to drive their 18-year-old around, I was happy to do so. The time and gasoline it took to drive Denver from point A to point B was a mild sacrifice for knowing my baby boy was safe and by my side. The mere idea of him out there on the road, by himself, gives me heartburn.

But then came prom season. And Denver wanted to drive himself to prom. Suddenly, I was full of ideas. Why not a limo?! An Uber?! A pedicab?! Anything to keep him off the road.

Despite my worries, Dale took our son to take his driver’s test, two days before prom. I stayed home, hands shaking as I held my coffee cup. Of course, my little man passed with flying colors and was licensed to drive himself and his friends to prom two days later. Alone. Without me in the car to gently correct his errors or throw my arm across his chest when he brakes too hard.driver's license

After some soul-searching, I decided I was ready to let him grow up and be a man – but, I was going to be there when it happened. I made plans to see Denver off to prom with his friends. But, in classic teenage-boy-style, he altered his plans so that he could leave while I was still at a Ladies’ League pool game.

That meant I needed to focus. Denver was a grown man now, and I had a game of pool to win. I handed my phone off to one of my teammates and buckled down to play my best. After all, I have shared my good sportsmanship skills with my sons for years, so now it was time for me to play for myself, right?

As I was about to sink a ball in a pocket, one of my teammates called out: “Denver texted! He said he’s leaving the house now.” And just like that, my game face cracked and I burst into tears in front of my opponent.

Denver had a blast at prom and made it home safely following an after-party of bowling and laser tag with his friends. He said he felt so good; he was proud of himself for driving alone.

As for me, I couldn’t help thinking about the circle of life and what my own mama used to say – you never stop worrying about your babies!

Happy Monday,