Thursday, June 5, 2014

Please step away from the vehicle.

The parking lot was completely empty. Right outside the back entrance to our neighborhood, the school lot seemed the perfect place to teach my young teens the art of driving. Right. Until. We. Pulled. In.

Holy moly, it looked like a mine-field! Why did they have all those light poles? And curbs? Someone could DIE trying to drive around those poles. And what if they turned too sharp and we jumped a curve, the car could flip and we would all die. I squeezed the door handle until my finger shapes were permanently indented there; I took a deep breath and told myself to calm down, calm down and then I screamed, "SLOW DOWN YOU ARE GOING TO HIT SOMETHING!"

Oh for the love. Because you need to know that what I was screaming in my head was actually more along the lines of:  "GET OUT OF THIS CAR AND STOP GROWING UP. STOP GROWING BEYOND MY REACH. STOP GROWING BEYOND WHERE I CAN PROTECT YOU FOR ALWAYS AND EVER. STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"

Mason and Claire were puzzled. They didn't understand my lack of patience with them (they couldn't read my mind after all.). When their dad walked in they quickly told him how weird it was. How mom -- who is patient in everything, they said -- could not help us drive. Yep. That it is. Weird, right?

I let them run with that. I let them sweet talk their Dad into taking them driving. I sat as they praised his patience, his teaching skills and his willingness to take them on big roads -- outside the empty school parking lot across from our neighborhood.

I have as a matter of fact made a rather large spectacle out of NOT being interested in their driving progression in the least. If you want your license, find a way to learn to drive. Call about driving school. Get lessons. Coerce your father. Because...

I. Can. Not. Do. It.

I survived triplet newborns. I can feed three babies without a tear from one of them. I can bathe, dress and diaper three newborns without a worry. I can coordinate play-dates, lead scout troops of assorted varieties and even navigate the waters of medical issues and barely break a sweat.

Benjamin, Mason and Claire in NICU. 

But teaching two teenagers to drive -- teaching them skills that will enable them to leave my nest; to stretch their wings and try things that don't involve me; to be independent -- well that has just about done me in.

What if other cars aren't careful around them? What if they don't merge correctly in this city filled to brimming with angry drivers (they have had drivers gesture vulgarly at them 9/10 times they venture out in the car!) and someone reacts violently? What if they get lost?

Claire and the ONLY vehicle they should share. Right?

What if they grow up and drive away?

Oh this parenting is not for the faint of heart. Not for the faint of heart at all. We are in the final weeks of "driver's permits" and they are good at driving, they just need more practice, daily practice. Dad is at work. So I am in charge of securing the practice. I am in charge of helping them avoid what still for the life of me looks like mine-fields every where we go. I am in charge of sitting with my hands calmly in my lap, breathing deeply and not gripping the door handle with a death lock.

Mason told me last week: "Mom, I like that you sometimes grip the door handle so tightly. I catch it out of the corner of my eye and it alerts me that I am doing something not quite right. Thanks."

Yep. You are definitely doing something NOT QUITE RIGHT, my darling son and daughter -- you are growing up.


Carol - The Blessings Counter