My Son is Driving. Why Am I Crying?

My Son is Driving. Why Am I Crying?
Follow Nicole on Twitter @RealTalkNic

By Nicole Harding

The knock came early in the morning and sounded like the police. Bang, bang, bang! I moved slowly to answer but my 16-year-old son was up and ready! He had been waiting for months. Years probably. Today is the day for his permit and 3-hour driving lesson! I was pretty certain he would be ok….not too sure about me though!

My husband came to the banister….still sleepy from a late night at work. He closed his robe and said to the instructor, “That is precious cargo right there. I want you to know.” They gave each other long knowing looks and out the door we went!

I was all smiles and chatter. Be careful. Listen. Pay attention. Let me get a picture. Have fun! All of the right things were said. I had done this twice before with my older children. No problem. I smiled and waved good-bye.

I made it up to the porch before the first tear slid down my face. Really? Where did the time go? So many fears…’s dangerous out there. Don’t use your phone. Keep your music low. Like, way low. Oh geez. I may not make it for three hours.

I thought of the lessons taught while learning to drive, these gave me a bit of solace. They are not just good for teens….they are good for life.

1. Put on your seat belt! The roads and life can be dangerous so focusing on safety can’t hurt. Shockingly, minorities are less likely to wear a seat belt and that leads to unnecessary deaths. Come on. Buckle up!

2. Check your rear view mirror often but your main focus is what’s ahead! Too much checking on what’s behind can make you miss what life has coming your way. Stay focused!

3. Yield! Oh, you can Bogart if you want to…and sometimes you may get in…but it can cost you. Everything isn’t a battle and ask yourself….is it worth it?

4.  Sometimes you have to slow down or change lanes to go faster. Speeding up to go nowhere doesn’t serve anyone. Sometimes it’s not speed but precision that leads to progress!

5. ENJOY THE RIDE!! The landscape may change, and the ride can be bumpy, but look around, take it in and be thankful!

I can’t bring myself to add a lesson I haven’t practiced: Don’t worry. Even though I know it is bad for me, worrying is something I have mastered. But I will try to worry less. This boy of mine…who is in transition to a man….kind, handsome, lanky, and still growing, where will his road take him? I don’t know the answer but I know that my heart will be wrapped all the way up in wherever it is, and that’s real talk!

Nicole Harding is an expert in leadership development, a wife and mother, who is focused on spreading positivity, one conversation, one home project, and one dynamite deal at a time. Follow her on Twitter @RealTalkNic

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