Last Tuesday was one of those days this mother has dreaded and looked forward to all at the same time - my oldest daughter got her driver's licence.
Just before school got out for the summer she got a job at a movie theatre in the city. Her other options were limited since our little town has emplyment opportunities for very few youth. But this job meant a 30 minute drive there and back every time she had a shift.
So I've spent my summer driving her to work, then hanging out at my mother-in-law's and then driving her home again. I've enjoyed the relaxing evenings away from home but it has really cut into my summer plans and time with the rest of the family.
As with most teenagers, she got her licence and then immedietly thought she should be able to drive everywhere. I let her drive a few places around town just so she could get used to being in the vehicle by herself, butI still drove her to work a few more times so she could get some more practice night driving. Friday evening was the real test. Rick was camping with the scouts and I didn't feel like going to town another time. So I surrendered my keys to her along with a few words about safety and then let her go. I think I held my breath for the next six hours thinking about my baby, my sixteen-year-old, sweet, innocent girl out late at night on the dark highway by herself.
She did well and I hope the next time it will be a little easier to let her go. I don't think the worry ever goes away though, and I wonder how often my mother worries about me. Maybe I should ask her. . .