My favorite parenting sound isn't my baby's laugh anymore

There’s nothing quite like the sound of a baby’s laugh. That pure, contagious belly laugh you think you’ll long to hear after your kids have grown. There are specific sounds we associate with our kids…feet too large for the body running up the stairs, the “I’m trying to be quiet” rattle of the cookie jar, and -in my house- an incessant scrape of a hockey stick against the wood floors.

blog-1-1Now that the kids are teenagers, the house is eerily quiet when they’re both out with friends.

It’s a subtle glimpse into the inevitable silence that will be here in a blink when they’re both off to college.

The peace and quiet I longed for when they were tireless toddlers has arrived, and I’m realizing the sounds that have made me crazy over the years- blasting music, sibling spats, and that damn stick-handling in the house- have also brought a certain comfort.

But, now, one is driving. And their independence is growing faster than my comfort zone.

And, though hearing their uninhibited belly laughs still overfills my heart with happiness, the sound of the garage door might be better.

There is little in this world we can control. For a while, when the kids are young, we may dictate when they nap, what they eat, or what they wear. But, really, our job as parents has always been empowering them for controlling their own futures.

At various points we have to trust that they’ll make good decisions: they’ll choose good friends, they’ll eat fruits & veggies when we aren’t around, they’ll make smart choices on social media…of course that they’ll be kind to everyone.

Once they’re driving, though, I worry about everyone else’s decisions too: that one driver isn’t responding to a text, another driver didn’t think “I’m fine” when they should’ve called an Uber, and someone else isn’t rushing to get to work/school/home.

“Most accidents happen within 5 miles of home.”

So I wait…

to hear the garage door…to breathe a sigh of relief…and to know- even for a moment-

My babies are safe.
My babies are home.

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