March 8, 2018

Taking the Back Seat

My two sons have been my focus for nearly 21 years. With that, where the heck has the time gone?! So yes, I have a few more grey hairs, well, maybe more than a few, as my colourist would confess. But, with my oldest son away at university, it’s just me and my youngest at home. Thankfully, the three of us have stayed connected through texting, emails and FaceTime. Seriously though, I don’t know how I would cope without this modern convenience. The conversations vary from the ridiculous to the wow,” you said that?!”  Most of the time, I’m in awe of what comes from their mouths. Kids are so smart these days. Perhaps I should give myself more credit for a job well done. Parenting can be a thankless job, and with that, I hope to reap the rewards soon, if not already.

Each morning I drive my younger son to school; it’s about a half-hour commute (one way). We are armed with coffee, and I usually dictate the music. We’ve mapped out the best possible route, and there’s no deviating from this. It’s the fastest and easiest. This route has been tried and tested in much detail.

My son will be graduating from high school, and with only three months left, I’m facing yet another change in my life. It’s all good, of course, but you know the saying, “all good things must come to an end.”  In a blink of an eye, we went from babies in-car seats to men who know how to drive. However, If my car could talk, there would be some funny stories. That said, I will miss our morning commutes and conversations. There were some real doozies. No topic was off-limits, solving world problems or me going on about one thing or another, trying to get a yes or no out of a sleepy teen. Unfortunately, I’m the chatty one. I can’t stand silence in the car, and my son is too polite to tell me to be quiet, but for the most part, he is a willing participant.

There have been moments, catching myself in full “Pepe la-pew” mode, smothering my son “Penelope Pussycat” with questions and stories that I swear at one point he was staring out the passenger window, mouthing “HELP ME” to the car next to us! LOL.

However, I’ve been the driver for many years, and letting go is so hard. I don’t want this moment to end. But, it’s time, and I believe my sons need their turn in the driver’s seat, literally and figuratively, paving the way to their destiny wherever it may take them. It’s bittersweet. As a parent, you want to send your children into the world with a driving force, independence, knowledge, confidence and courage. I trust that I have taught them this. My only hope is that their journeys are filled with stories and adventures, with an occasional drive-thru to the unknown.

As for me? I’m taking the back seat and watching what happens at the end of the journey, hoping that all roads lead to success with just a few potholes to keep it real.

Life’s like a road that you travel on
When there’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
There’s a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won’t haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore
We won’t hesitate, break down the garden gate
There’s not much time left today

Tom Cochran

The comments +

  1. I’m in a similar position with my three boys. My oldest just left for school a month ago and my middle one leaves in August – both locations are plane rides away, so no quick surprise visits to be expected anytime soon LOL
    Then there is my youngest, in seventh grade, still my baby but growing up too fast. With all of the changes happening around us, I’m not sure if he thinks he’s won the lottery or the booby prize yet, only time will tell.

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