If we are Facebook friends, you might remember a post with my daughters on their way to the mall...gulp...on their own. My eldest passed her exam last week, and in a two second call to our insurance company, she was insured and on her way to the mall with her 14 year old sister.
Of course for the last few weeks we have been practicing that drive to the mall, because in my Mom-mind, I wanted to be sure she knew which exit to take, when to use the blinker, which three lanes to cross over, which entrance to use, and where to park (because I wanted to teach her that if you always park in the same place, you never forget which entrance to go through when you leave. Brilliant, right? Apparently, according to her, I am the only person on the planet who can't remember where she's parked at the mall).
You don't think about those moments or the few first hours, how you feel when your child drives off for the first time in the car. The fact that we are sharing a car means I'm stuck home, in my own head, awaiting for her return. I was asked if I was "nervous". I wasn't "nervous" about her, because she is a good driver...but I am "NERVOUS" because of all the other wackos on the road who are not. Nervous doesn't even skim the surface, I am nervous because she's my child and I'm her mom.
The first time she took off in the car, which was last Tuesday, I wandered the house for an hour and did things like wipe baseboards, organize the spices, and went on a hunt for our Puerto Rican cats. Somehow they know exactly when I REALLY want to hold them, because that's when they disappear. I finally downed two glasses of Cabernet (because hey, I wasn't going to be driving anywhere) and went for a five mile walk.
The upside is that in the last week MY driving time has been cut in half, and I've found myself working more and even sitting down with a glass of wine in my pajamas watching movies like "Under the Tuscan Sun". She has taken herself to work while I stay home, driven her sister to friends' houses, made a candy run to Walgreens, deposited money into her bank account without me, and announced that she was going to the grocery store for vegetables, since we were out. She has driven to meet friends for lunch at Lobsta Land (as if she's 25 and not 16!) and I'm not particularly sure, but pretty sure she's joy ridden around the back shore at least three times and chewed the three packs of gum I keep in the console.
There's really nothing more to say except that I felt the need to document this. We are one week in and the feeling of time on my hands, feeling of uselessness as a mom, and the urge to take away the keys because I'm just not ready for Baby Anna to be driving "up the line" to the mall, is all pretty immense.
The end. If you have kids too, you know what I'm talking about.