Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Achy Breaky Heart



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!

80 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Thank goodness I have many years before this happens.

Ioana said...

i know this is like, a year old, and so a tad bit too late, but since i come from SITS, i am reading the 3 posts u selected.
and this one [the first i am reading] is so touchy. i don't have kids, so i don't know the feelings, but u made them clear, u put ur feeling in words just perfect.

leigh said...

I'm going to go hug my 10 month old and my 5 year old a little tighter today. Thank God he won't ask to borrow the car!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Hugs!!! I've so been there and done that - twice already!! I still have one left and I'm hoping by the time my 5 year old is ready to pull this one on me I'll be too senile to care, lol!

gamommy2two said...

Oh boy...My girls are going to do this to me someday. Hopefully it will be in about 35 years, though.

Lori said...

I'm going through the same thing right now and can totally relate. UGH!!!!

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

Oh, so sweet. My mom still tears up when I go off to do my own thing. And I'm 32! I guess it's part of the bittersweetness of being a mom.

Mommie Daze (Colleen) said...

I'm just having a hard time dealing with the fact that my oldest is going to kindergarten this fall. I don't even want to think about him driving.

sandy said...

My oldest son is getting ready to start driving and I am a nervous wreck!

KC Mom said...

I can identify with you there...I just sent my oldest "baby' to college this year. It about broke my heart. Welcome to real teenage living!!

cat said...

Oh gosh, I can not wait until mine can drive (that is still 13 years away for no 1 - we only drive ere at 18)

Michelle L. said...

Oh boy, I remember the first time my girls drove off together like that. I had so many emotions flowing that I think I just let them all go at once. And then they asked to drive across the state to the next state over for a wedding! That was crazy but they made it safely. I think they were about 19 and 16 then.

missy said...

this summer we will be on driver #2 at our house. i am not sure i will ever not worry when they pull out of the driveway!!!

Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms said...

Very nice post ;) She's not all-grown up yet tho...marriage, babies (grandchildren for you, agh!) ...she's still your little girl *smiles*.

Andrea said...

I've been thinking about how I would feel about that. Even though it will be 10 more years for my oldest, I've been looking at how grown up she is already at 6! It does make me sad!

Happy SITS day!

SMJ said...

Oh I feel ya! I have one driving son & about to have another...then I get a break for a few years until the youngest starts. Nevermind, based on his Mario Kart skills I don't think I'll let him drive until they invent rubber cars.

Jenny Brown said...

Happy SITS day! It's so hard to watch them grow up......and they do grow up fast don't they? Enjoy your day!

Joanie M said...

I taught all 3 of my kids to drive. It was so liberating when the youngest got her license and I realized I was finally free!!!

Heather said...

awww. I think it's admirable that you are encouraged and excited for your girls as they experience new milestones in the lives. I wish my mom had done the same.

Visiting from SITS.

Tsquared417 said...

I can't even imagine!!! Good for you though that you let her have her independence. :)

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh my, I will be in your situation soon, as my oldest turns 16 in July. Not sure how I'll feel, but the "heart walking around outside my body" analogy seems to fit!
Happy SITS feature day, enjoy the attention. :)

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

I think of moments like this often and how I will feel when I am in the midst of them. My current heart breaking moment will come soon when my son starts kidergarten this fall ahhhh!!!

Shelley said...

Congratulations on being the featured blogger today. I hope that you get tons of bloggy comment love. My son will be turning 15 this year and getting his learners' permit. I have struggled with this whole driving thing. But YIKES, this really kind of brings it home. Great blog.

Laura said...

I had those same feelings 4 years ago, but they pass when you realize you can say, "Can you go to the store for me?" & they love to do it.

Laura said...

Oops almost forgot - Happy SITS Day!

Eva Gallant said...

I confess those were scary times for me. As a mother of two rambunctious boys, I spent many a night worrying until they were home safe. Now it's their turn to worry!

congrats on your SITS day!

Christine said...

I completely understand what you're saying. It's so bittersweet. I worry like crazy when they're out on the road, but it's wonderful to not have the responsibility of carting them everywhere.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my gosh. Isn't that like the scariest thing ever! Jimminy Crickets! She looks so proud in that picture!

J. L. W. said...

I have a long way to go before either of my daughters can drive (like 14 years) but I can see how your heart hurts as they become more and more independent. At least you'll have more free time since there will be less chauffeur duties to attend to!

k a b l o o e y said...

I so empathize. I think it's remarkable that you greeted all those other milestones in such a clearheaded way, but these mixed feelings I understand. Scary but necessary steps and you wouldn't want to hold them back, but still... yikes. Hope she's as safe as she looks happy. (Oh yeah, over from SITS and congratulations to you on your day!)

Leah Rubin said...

I know! It's a really huge leap toward independence, that driver's license! Congrats to Katie, and props to you for your supportive love and encouragement!

Cool blog, and congrats on your SITS Day! (I'm still hoping mine comes soon!)

2busy said...

Letting go is so hard! My oldest just graduated HS. It doesn't get easier. Coming over from SITS.

gringationcancun said...

At least she got out of the driveway!

I knocked over the trash can when I pulled out of the driveway on my first day driving to school. Luckily, I don't think my mom saw!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

I know it must be scary!! I can't imagine when mine are old enough to drive (now ages 4, 2 and 16 months) I will look to mothers of grown and teenage children for advice and support!

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

My children are so little right now that I can't imagine this EVER happening but I know I will blink and this time will arrive. I AM the kind of mom who has trouble with her oldest going to Kindergarten and the fact that her baby is 19 months old now so I am certain I will need to be medicated when the driver's license time starts!

Joann Mannix said...

Truly, it was one of the most difficult things to teach my daughter. And I thought potty training was tough!

My oldest girl is now off at college, driving the hundred odd miles home during breaks. I hold my breath every time until she's safe here at home.

Now, number 2 is learning and the 3rd one's right behind her. This life with these precious girls, it's just whipped by too fast.

Thank you for your lovely post.

Dalia (Generation X Mom) said...

Reading this post gave me shivers. My kids are growing way too fast and it seems that 5 years really feels like 1 year now. Before I know it my tweens will be driving and this makes me so nervous. Look forward to reading more of your blog and taking teenage notes along the way! Found you from SITS.

Hanneke Nelson said...

Thirteen years from now, I will be where you are. A little terrifying to be honest. But then again, I have thriteen years to prepare...

Happy SITS Day!

The Fickle Nickle said...

My daughter is lethal with training-wheels...I can only imagine the day she gets car keys!! Thanks for sharing a milestone in your life:) Happy SITS Day!!!

Kearsie said...

Urg. I have 8 years before this happens. Just enough time to save up for car insurance on my two daughters.

Kristy K said...

My babies are still years away from driving, but I remember having that same feeling when they started preschool and kindergarten for the first time. Ah.... so bittersweet. Enjoy your freedom though!

Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen said...

Oh I remember when I started driving...in British Columbia you get your Learners at 16 (you have to drive with someone at least 25 years or older and no other passengers FOR A YEAR)and then at 17 you can drive on your own for 2 years with only one passenger and at 19 you get your normal drivers license. It's really dumb. lol

Herself said...

That's always a scary place to be--at first.
Hang in there, SITSta!

Katherine said...

Hopefully that feeling wears off soon and you can bask in the glory of not having to driver her everywhere AND 'teach her responsibility' by getting her to drive her sis around hehe

LisaDay said...

Happy SITS day.

It is a sad day when the kids get the car. I am glad your daughter made it home unscathed and she and her sister were out having a great time.

Lisa Day

Joy said...

I feel your pain. I have a driver who's been lazy about getting his license {thank God} but I know the day is coming.

Congrats on your SITS day!

SmartBear said...

Wait...you mean, mine will DRIVE one day? Crap...I totally did NOT sign up for that! Great post!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I seriously do not think that I will be able to handle it when that day comes for me. I am trying not to think about it.

simplysandi said...

My son is 23, and his friends started driving before he did. That was almost as hard, letting your 15 year old get into a vehicle with at 16 year old. He survived, and so did I.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

There are all those bittersweet 'mommy' moments. Off to school for the first time, (I cried, my kids didn't); first father — daughter dance. I cried me a river on that one. Then that drivers license. I've been through that 3 times already with two right on their heels. It doesn't get any easier. Matter of fact, as much as I DON'T want to do all that taxi service driving all over creation to get my kids all the places they need to go (about 3 hours per day total)! I'm also petrified of them getting in a car and driving themselves in this age of the cell phone, texting, etc. It used to be, "don't turn your music up to loud" but, this whole cell phone thing. Makes one realize how much we depend on guardian angels!

Leslie Limon said...

I am SO glad that we live in Mexico, where my 4 kids will have to wait until they are 18 to get their drivers license!

Stopped by from SITS! I love your blog and can't wait to read more! :D

Christy said...

Happy SITS day!

Don't remind me about what is coming next! My baby is only 2, lol. I said something to the hubs the other day about her dating and I was told very quickly to shush. She's never growing up in our house, haha.

Michelle said...

Been there, done that.. have the t-shirt.... it does have some great perks tho..LOL

Kim Does Blogs said...

It comes so fast - mine just turned 13 and he is already planning for the drivers license - it seems like they were just learning to walk a minute ago!

Stephanie Stearns Dulli said...

Oh my gosh, the idea of my kid driving makes me want to take a xanax right now and he isn't even two!
I never thought of that as the last snap of the cord, but the way you wrote it broke my heart a bit. I'm glad your Kate is a good driver!

Nikki said...

stopping by from SITS, awwwww your baby girl is growing up!! I remember when I first moved away from my mom for college, I came home literally every single weekend the first year to visit her:) just to watch movies and hang out. think of all the fun girl outings you can go on, and you don't have to drive! :)

Marie said...

Oh oh, tell them to be careful...When I turned 16 my 14 year old sister and I went to the mall and on the way over there I rearended a car in front of us b/c as my sister told the police I was busy checking myself out in the rearview mirror while I was singing with the music full blast. Feels like it was yesterday, oh and no one got hurt.

Rachel said...

Aw. So sweet. My children are still young, but I know this day will come all too soon for me.

Kristine said...

I bet it is bittersweet! Happy SITS Day!

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Congrats - I'm so glad I'm years away from that stage - it makes me super nervous.

HAPPY SITS DAY!

Beth said...

You made me remember when I got my license and the freedom and joy it was! Such a different feeling from the mom though. I still have 5 years until that time comes, and my son reminds me of it all the time!

Mrsbear said...

I am not looking forward to that day. My 15 year old keeps talking about getting her license soon, luckily we can't afford to have her driving anyway, insurance premiums, but I'm not ready to hand over my keys just yet...

Lorri Jeanne said...

I think that day comes way too fast! Congrats on your SITS day!

Lourie said...

Awww man, way to kick a girl when she is down! I have 4 years before the first three begin that season of their lives. *sigh*

Stopping by from SITS. Happy SITS day!!!

Miz Dinah said...

Yikes, scary! :)

Megan said...

So bittersweet,I'm sure. I still remember the day I got my license, how many years ago? Haha!! Too fun!

mariahsmile said...

I remember the day I first drove by myself and I was terrified but ready to be free!

mom2kmjx2 said...

Aww. I hate seeing them grow up. My baby turned 11 today. 5 more years until he can drive but i'm already nervous lol.

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I don't even want to imagine the day my babies reach all of those milestones...school, driving, girlfriends and boyfriends, etc! I know I'm going to be the mushy sentimental mom through it all!

Kim said...

I'm sorry you feel that way. All the running around does get tiring. My third will take her drivers' test soon.

Angelia Sims said...

Now my comment on the main post totally makes me think, I had some insight before I went to your links!! LOL!

Mine is 15 (my only til I remarry in OCT), I am teaching her to drive and it's downright SCARY.

I think I'll feel relieved, sad, and terrified at the same time when she gets her liscense.

Being a mom is so HARD. Hugs girl!!

Bea said...

Ohh, I know EXACTLY how you felt! I'm the mom of two teenage boys and when my oldest, (now 18) first went out on his own, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Now, I'm going through it with my 15 year old, and it hasn't gotten any easier. Especially because he's my "baby!"
Hang in there mom. It'll be fine!

Just Lisa said...

I feel for you! Thank goodness my oldest is only 3! I don't know what I'm going to do when she gets a set of keys in her hand!

MommyToTwoBoys said...

I can't imagine. I won't even let my 3 year old take the bus to preschool and there are 2 full times aides that ride with the other 3 kids! Scary to think I will be in your shoes soon.

Zeemaid said...

It's funny how we always think we'll be glad when the days comes but when it does....

Happy FB Sits day. I'm a little behind ;)

Peace.Love. Lipgloss. said...

I remember when I used to think 30 was old- eeks! Time flies by so quickly!

Melanie said...

Oh my son just got his permit a few months ago. I have been looking forward to this day for years as well but know I will have mixed feelings when he finally pulls out of the driveway on his own for the first time. It is funny how when the days of freedom come we end up feeling sad. The end of an era in our lives.

Kekibird said...

I think my mom and dad celebrated that day for all three of us, also. They couldn't WAIT to be rid of one more soccer practice, NHS meeting or other school activity.

Kim said...

I'm having a hard time looking at photos of my two year old lately bc he just looks so grown up, I have no idea how I'm going to survive when he can just get into a vehicle and drive away from me! At least her driving does mean you have some free time! Enjoy it! :)

scrappysue said...

i know just how you feel, although not having to drive them around so much is a plus of sorts!!!

 

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