About 3 weeks ago, our oldest got his driver’s license; a major milestone in the life of a teenager and of his parents.
A few weeks prior to getting his license my husband and my dad took M out car shopping. Now don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not like we have money just laying around burning holes in our pockets or anything, but we had agreed to help him by matching him dollar for dollar on the purchase of car.
It’s hard for teenagers. You tell them to get to a job so they can earn money to pay for a car, but how are they supposed to get to this job without a car? It’s a vicious cycle.
Anyway, we helped him purchase a 1993 Ford Mustang. (Which he has named Sally. I know. It’s a “guy thing”. Or so I’ve been told.) It’s nothing fancy, but you’ve never seen a happier boy in all your life. He has a Mustang! And that’s all you need when you’re a teenage boy.
Now, when you’re the mother of a teenage boy who has just started driving, you need a whole lot more! You need patience, strength, faith and a little Valium wouldn’t hurt either. I promise if you’ve never prayed before, you will do more praying as the mother of a new teenage driver than ever before. I know what I’m talking about here.
And it’s not that M is a bad driver. In fact, for a new driver, he’s pretty solid. But he has that teenage boy bravado that says, “I’m invicible.” And I’m trying to let him know, without damaging his confidence, that he’s fallible. It’s a fine line for a parent to walk. I want him to enjoy his teenage years and I want him to enjoy the freedom that having a car affords a young man during this time of his life. At the same time I want him to learn how to handle the responsibilities that go along with that freedom.
So he drives and I pray.