Rachel skipped to the car in the driveway, excited! “Yeah, I finally have freedom!” she screeched in sheer joy knowing that she was taking her first solo drive to work.
Nancy felt uneasy as she watched Rachel throw her swim bag, sunscreen, and sun visor in the backseat. She was concerned that her daughter was over confident in her driving ability. It would be her maiden voyage, her 16 year olds’ first solo drive and it would be on the interstate all by herself in what would most likely be bumper to bumper traffic.
“Lord,” she prayed. “Keep her safe! Help me to stay calm for the next 30 minutes while Rachel is in route to work. Please, just keep her safe. Why am I so antsy, Lord? It is just so hard to let go!”
Nancy was working hard not to say all the things she really wanted to say…like “don’t go over the speed limit, make sure you lock your doors, look both ways, stay in the slow lane, be careful turning left out of the neighborhood…you know cars sometimes whip around that curve…” But she chose to remain silent with those nagging thoughts. She knew she needed to respect this rite of passage.
“Bye, Honey! Be sure to call me as soon as you get to work,” she plastered on the fake smile trying to sound confident as she let her daughter go.
“I will, Mom, don’t worry. I’ll be fine.”
And off she drove…
As Nancy returned to the kitchen, Sam came down and gave her a quick hug. “Are you okay? I know that you don’t think she’s ready, sweetheart. But she needs a chance to grow up. She’ll be fine.”
Ten minutes later, Nancy was standing at the sink prepping dinner while Sam was piddling in the garage. All Nancy could think about was the conversation she and Sam had last night about Rachel’s request to drive to work by herself. Sam was right. Other kids drive to work all by themselves at 16 all the time. She knew she was just being silly, so she chose not to press him further.
“I’ll take care of it, Rachel,” Sam said as he came in from the garage, obviously talking to Rachel on his cell phone. “You’re sure you are alright to drive? Just be careful. I’ll let Mom know. We’ll look at it when you get home. Call us when you get there.”
Nancy kept her feelings in check. She knew what she wanted to say to her husband. She knew Rachel wasn’t ready to drive alone yet! But she kept her tongue silent.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
“What happened?” Nancy responded.
“Rachel took out the neighbor’s mailbox.”
“Oh, Sam, is she okay?”
“She’ll be fine. I think she is a little shaken up, but she’ll be fine. I guess maybe she wasn’t quite ready to drive by herself. It sounds like she hit a mailbox with the passenger side mirror. It flipped forward, so there was no real damage to the car, probably just a little scrape. She must have told the neighbor that she’d have me come see the damage. She said she knew she’d have to pay for the mailbox.”
“At least that’s all that happened. I’m sure it will make her be more careful on the drive to work.”
Dare you to recognize that your teens are growing up and as parents we do need to let go…even when it doesn’t feel right.
Still keeping my “feelings” in check to give my teens the respect they deserve.
“Let go…and let God,”