It has happened again! Another child in this family has reached the age of sixteen... and driven away by themselves. Yikes. It should get easier...it should get easier... it should get easier...
Here are parts of the conversations from yesterday and today that have been flying around this house and between cell phones...
"Did you show him where the registration is? Does he know that is what the police will ask for when/if he gets pulled over?"
"DO NOT TALK ON YOUR CELL PHONE, TEXT ON YOUR CELL PHONE, ANSWER YOUR CELL PHONE WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING THIS CAR!"
"Text me when you get to school. Text me when you are leaving school."
"Be alert, there are crazy people in cars all around you."
"You are driving a killing machine."
"You don't get do overs in car accidents!"
"It is snowing, do you want me to drive you to school instead? " (NO)
"Remember, they are braking for a reason..." (Mom's famous line when driving with a pre-licensed driver)
"Slow and easy, give yourself time to respond to the traffic around you."
"Insurance is expensive!"
"Randy, he doesn't know how to drive on slick roads - there is going to be an accident!!" (This was my freakish chant this morning - 6:00 am - so my dear, dear husband secretly followed our new 16 year old to school. He had to be there by 6:30 for a band concert practice. XOXO to you!) He thought he was driving undetected by our son until I got a text message (after he was at school) telling me that HE had been driving for SIX months and didn't need us (DAD) to follow him to school. So sorry Ernie. We just love you and you probably won't understand our crazy obsession of love and safety until your 16 year old son drives away for the first, second, fiftieth time!
How did my parents survive my driving around town at 14?!!? Yes, it was in Kansas, but not too rural. I did drive to early morning seminary, the grocery store and Hardee's to retreave the necessary diet Pepsi's for Mom.
Happy 16th birthday Ernie. You are dependable, always on time, responsible, helpful - you have always been an adult in a child's body. I can't wait to see what you accomplish in the next 16 years. You have learned to go after what you want to do and this usually demands hard work on your part. Way to go for doing your own thing at JHS - band, soccer, wrestling, PTSA and all A's your first quarter. Congrats on the no tardies or absences award for the first quarter. It is a big deal because IT IS A BIG DEAL. Being where you need to be when you need to be there is something that is hard to do day in and day out. You earned the privileged right to an on campus parking spot as a sophomore, just beware the juniors and seniors. No BFE (beyond fetching Egypt) parking for you!! You are a good friend and a great son. I will miss driving you to and from school and our Friday stops at Sonic during happy hour. Always drive safe. I love you.