Milestones and Rites of Passage

<p>My daughter got her driver's license yesterday.</p>

<p>It makes a teen look so adult somehow when she gets into a car by herself and drives away.</p>

<p>You hear so much about baby's taking a first step but this is much more memorable to me.</p>

<p>The first time I had a sense of a child's developing independence was when my daughter first drank a bottle by holding it in her own tiny fists.</p>

<p>So true--my youngest(!) got her license about two weeks ago and it felt so different having my last one pass that milestone!</p>

<p>my DH has always lamented the passing of our kids youth--its very hard on him but i have always LOVED seeing the new ways they are growing--it makes it hard on him when i enjoy these growing up things and he really doesn't!!</p>

<p>I still vividly remember the image of both of my sons driving off by themselves for the first time. I absolutely share your feelings.</p>

<p>So tell me, when will my heart stop pounding when I think about her being on the road this minute, taking all those left hand turns into traffic....</p>

<p>Um, my eldest graduates (college) next month and I still don't allow myself to think about his driving. Of course he has given me a couple of reasons to feel this way :(</p>

<p>I got my D a cute thing for her keychain- something that was very "her" I gave it to her when she passed the test, along with her own new set of keys</p>

I feel your anxiety.The day my kids got behind the wheel alone for the first time with tht newly minted drivers license was the most anxious days of my life,hands down. Worse than leaving them at college, worse than leaving D in a new city alone for grad school.Even worse I think than S's two ER visits. There's just something about it..them, the machine,the other people in cars,maybe the independence......</p>

<p>I've driven with my daughter recently, so I know why I'm worried -- observing that, just because one car is stopped, doesn't mean another car won't pass first car and continue into your path of traffic, leaning away from the window while passing perilously close to a parked car (fortunately mirror of said car is still attached) -- and, when I point these things out, daughter doesn't understand my concern....:eek:</p>

<p>Last weekend our oldest son's childhood crush got married (at age 20).<br>
We saw so many old friends at the wedding--our kids grew up together--we still like to think of them as little kids but they're not, and we're all getting pretty gray ourselves. At the reception they showed slides of the bride an groom as children, including ones of the bride as I first met her more than 10 years ago.
I cried big tears--made me feel so sad and old. . . Sunrise, sunset. . .</p>

<p>The best part of the whole driving experience with our S was when he left for college without the car.. Except for the school breaks when he is home I no longer have those worries about him on the road. Of course he will be home for the summer soon. I really dread those evenings of waiting to hear the garage door open so I know he is home safe and sound.
Good luck to all the parents of new drivers.</p>

<p>My boys couldn't wait to drive. Somehow I was more calm about it by time the second one reached that milestone. Maybe it was because I knew he was a way better driver than his older bro. who has somehow managed to survive,not without incident of course. </p>

<p>Our big milestone of the month is that S2 has gone with some friends on a Spring Break trip totally unsupervised. This is a first for him though he is a very independent fellow. He is 18, will graduate in June and go to college in Aug. We let older S do it for Spring Break of senior yr. so we could hardly deny younger S. We are crossing our fingers, saying prayers and watching our youngest leave us inch by inch, mile by mile.</p>

<p>I took a picture of D2 at the wheel on one of her first trips out alone. It is just screaming "I'm free at last!" One of my favorite images of her.</p>

<p>I won't tell you the story of when she rear ended someone last month in a parking lot, going backwards, causing about $10,000 damage to three vehicles. No injuries because the other cars were parked. Not such a cute picture that day.</p>

<p>atomom, I would also have needed Kleenex in the scenario you described.</p>

<p>Another one is kiddo flying on her own for the first time. I used the airline web site to track her progress as she flew across the country.</p>

<p>With the younger one, she was flying overseas. My mother-in-law felt it was important to wait until we saw the plane pull away from the gate.</p>