Letting go's

My 16-year-old passed the driver’s education written test with flying colors. And she could accurately describe every step of the upcoming driving portion of the exam with colored diagrams and everything.

But I took it as a bad sign when she ran over the garbage cans backing out of the driveway on the way to that road test. And an even worse sign when, during the test, she missed two, big yield signs and we almost became the road-kill victims of an 18-wheeler that flew by us on the entrance ramp to the highway.

I was freaked out. If she had been alone, she could have been killed! Even though she ultimately passed the road test, I thought to myself… she’s not ready.

I reasoned that even after 18 months of driving practice in all sorts of road and lighting conditions, that she still needed even more practice with a parent beside her. She needed to practice driving in unfamiliar areas, practice driving while relying on a map, practice what to do when she gets lost—practice, practice, practice.

But when would it be enough practice? Would it ever be enough?

Raising your children is really a series of “letting go’s.” When they’re young, you control everything: when and what they eat, bedtime, who their friends are, what they wear, what television programs they watch--everything.

But as they grow, the series of “letting go’s” begins.

The first time we let them ride the school bus. The first time we drop them off for a play date. The first time we let them go to the movies with their friends. The first time we let them get behind the wheel of a car with us, and finally without us. It’s scary.

But hopefully, along the road to raising them, we arm them with enough knowledge and confidence and problem-solving skills, that they ultimately don’t smash the car, or themselves.

Whenever our kids moan and groan over an assigned chore, my hubby and I remind them it’s not our job to be their maid, cook and personal assistant. It’s our job to raise them to be independent, self-sufficient adults.

And we do this through our “letting go’s.”

So after all this, since my daughter has passed the requisite tests, do I take her to get that license? Um, I will…eventually. But I can’t help it. We’re going to practice just a little more, before I finally do this next big “letting go.”

Did/do you have trouble with any of your “letting go’s”?

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