I guess I've been stuck for a long time at the age when I would sit behind the wheels and drive my kids to school, to the dentist, to the music lessons, to the prom. I've gotten used to being in command of the car, driving carefully because with me are my precious jewels. And despite the fact that I've seen these jewels grow up into young adults, for all this time a big part of me still looked at them as that: growing young adults that needed mama to drive for them.
The realization that these jewels of mine who are now young adults who are slowly getting into the process of adulthood are driving now is presently giving me the culture shock of some sort. You'd probably ask, "So what's the big deal? It's no big deal, everybody in town is learning how to drive." But no, it's a big deal for me. Because I am moved. Because it's a sign of change. Because it's a sign of adulthood. Of them slipping away from your fingers. Of them having their own wings to fly. Of maturity. Of responsibility. And of me growing old, ugh! :-)
Moving into the big city means moving the car into it as well, along with most of our belongings. Of course, these young adults whose minds are very open to learning all sorts of adult stuff would never let the car sit idly in the basement car park. Now they hold the car keys and are being very resourceful about learning how to drive it. My youngest, who's still eighteen, still has to learn, still has to take lessons, so he hasn't dared to get behind the wheels...yet. My eldest already knows how to drive before we came here. After a couple of incidents with the car painting its color on the surface of the garage posts, this kid was raring to take the car beyond the pineapple fields. My second commissioned a friend to teach him how to drive after school, sometimes late into the evening, and would come home exhilarated because he was able to take the car along a major highway. There are nights they would sneak out to try other roads, and I'm left seriously praying for their safety. Yeah, really, it's one of those moments I could write down as my Conversations With God.
Now being just their passenger, who becomes a total mess in the passenger seat (yeah, back in the small city I was a good driver but always a bad passenger, especially when seated up in the front), I admit I become a source of their stress as much as they are the source of my stress. That makes us even, haha! Anyway, here, my right foot secretly automatically steps on an invisible break pedal each time I feel that my son the driver is being a bit unguarded, or that the other drivers are being inconsiderately reckless. At the same time, I just can't prevent myself--whole body and all--from being tensed, with my back pressed hard against the seat. You just can't imagine how my adrenaline is pumping such that when we get home, sleep eludes me well into the morning.
It takes a lot not to show how scared I am. I try so hard to reign in my fears because it affects especially my eldest, but sometimes it slips with sucked breaths and oops, uups, iiihhhh, and sudden gestures that they find truly annoying. Hehe, sorry for that. I'm still learning in that department. I have to. I have to show my sons that I have faith in them. For if I didn't, however else are they going to have confidence? Well, again, all through this time I ask God to keep us out of harm's way and guide my son and the other drivers as well. But credit to my boys, I am amazed at their judgment on the road, and their courage, and their desire to master driving.
Driving is an essential skill these days, and my sons are too old for Mama to be driving around for them. And Mama is too scared to be driving in the big city for now. So yes, someone has to learn how to drive. Someone has to be confident to ride with me for when I get the courage to try driving in the big city. I haven't driven in about a year. except for when I went back in the small city for my mother's funeral.
As of this writing, I'm trying to unnerve myself by writing this...while waiting in the car for my son to finish his driving tests and secure his license. Later on our way back home, well, you know how the story will go. :-)