Waiting Up

My new Friday night routine is waiting up for my son to get home… waiting and waiting…

I remember when my son was still a baby and I had a conversation with a parent of teenagers about the trials of parenting teens. I expressed some anxiety about this prospect and the woman I was talking to said, “It may seem like too much to you now. But, as your baby grows you grow as a parent.” Wise advice.

Fast forward 17 years. My son is now a teen driver which I think was my biggest worry when I imagined parenting a teenager. How can I send him out in a car by himself?? He was 14 before I let him ride his bike into town by himself and two years later he has a driver’s license and I am handing over the keys to the car. Despite these huge leaps in independence I have felt we have been ready to handle them.

He has now been a licensed driving for a year and he is a reliable and safe driver but he is still a teen and he is still a boy.

Last night as I waited for him to come home I flashed back to that conversation of so long ago. Yes, I have become accustomed to him driving off on his own but it isn’t easy. On Friday nights he coaches and plays lacrosse about 10 minutes from home. He texted me to tell me he was leaving but stopping for food on the way home.

15 minutes went by… he should be home soon.

20 minutes went by… any minute now

25 minutes went by… where is he?

30 minutes went by… worry starts and the possibilities go through my head. There is black ice he may have gotten in an accident. Did he get pulled over for speeding? I hate to text him while he is driving but I sent my usual “Where are you?” text.

I eventually hear from him… A friend needed a ride home. Sigh…

He gets home safe and sound. I gave him a reminder about letting me know about delays. Yes, it is true I am ready for these new experiences and so is he. But the worry never goes away.

What will I ever do when he goes away to college? I guess I have a year and a half to grow into that next stage of being a parent.

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3 comments

  1. I really appreciate the balance you created between anxst and reality. Trust and worry. What a beautiful relationship you must have with your son. I hope he feels the balance (and appreciates it) as well.

  2. It is difficult, but as one who has gone through this and is going through it again (we have four kids), I wouldn’t want it any other way. It sounds like your son is becoming a caring and responsible human being. Good for you (and him)!

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