Today I entered a brand new phase of parenting. I am now the mom of a teen driver! OMG!!!! Part of me is completely terrified, but the part of me that's been driving Katie all over creation for the past 16 years is relieved. I truly believe that the sheer exhaustion (and dare I say it... inconvenience) that comes from having to drive a busy teenager to all of her appointments, practices, meetings, jobs, social events, etc. is the only reason that parents are able to overcome their terror and hand over the car keys. Willingly. I knew I would feel a sense of relief today, but what I didn't expect to feel was a sense of loss and sadness. I've never been the kind of mom who cries when her child goes to school for the first time or when her youngest child is no longer a baby. I've just never felt sentimental or wistful about those types of things. I've always been excited for my kids as they've grown and experienced life. So today I was not expecting to feel so sad and weepy as Katie got in her car after the driving test and drove off to school - on her own. As I got in my car and she got in hers I felt the symbolic cutting of the umbilical cord and it hurt. My baby really is growing up and she is becoming quite independent of me. I can honestly say that today I fully experienced the feeling of my heart walking around outside my body. I tried to comfort myself with the thought that Madeleine is still only 14 and I've got two more years before I have to do this again. Then this afternoon, after her babysitting job was over, Katie pulled up into the driveway (unscathed!), tooted the horn and Madeleine ran outside jumped in the passenger seat and my two "babies" drove off together to go shopping. There goes the rest of my heart!