From the Cradle to the Steering Wheel

August 12, 2011

Posted By: Shaunescy

Our youngest - my baby - got his driver’s license yesterday.

He's only 15 years old, yet in the fine state of Montana, they deem that appropriate for the responsibility of navigating a few thousand pound vehicle.

In honor of him being officially licensed, we sent him to pick up dinner. I thought for certain he would be excited to drive.

Somewhere - anywhere.

His only reply, "This driving thing is over-rated."

When I got my license you couldn't keep me home, but not our son. He drove in the rain to pick up dinner and came immediately home, ate dinner and went directly to his room. X-box Live was waiting.

With the "passing of the keys" to our youngest child, coupled with the fact once he flies the coop, we’ll be referred to as “empty nesters,” – I had an epiphany.

I feel old.

And I am astounded how quickly the majority of our child-rearing years seem to have evaporated - and taken my youth along with them.

I was lamenting with my colleagues about our driving children, and another mom/co-worker understands my pain - her son just got his permit and can be fully-licensed in three short months.

It's crazy.

My great aunt tried to tell me - back when all my kids were small - to enjoy this time.

I remember thinking, "Who is she kidding?"

Who "enjoys" working eight hours each day, leaving the office promptly at 5:01pm to race to the daycare before the closing bell (and risk getting charged $1 per minute every minute past 6:00pm), running to the market to grab something "quick and nutritious" for dinner, race home, prepare said "quick and nutritious” meal, while the older kids do their homework nearby so I can answer questions/help if needed - all the while - the baby runs amok (unless Daddy was nearby to assist?).

Dinner is followed by play time, depending upon the season, and homework levels, then bath time, story time, checking backpacks for notes from the teacher, or other important school information.

Kisses goodnight.

Lights out.

Wash, rinse and repeat the next day. And the next. And the next.

Are you kidding? Enjoy that?

Not included in the above harried life scenario is the inclusion of sports, cub scouts, brownies, birthday parties or back to school night.

When our now licensed driver was only a Kindergartener, I realized I forgot to purchase frosting for the cupcakes that I baked for some random classroom party THAT DAY.  

So prior to school, with all the kids loaded in the car, I jettisoned into the market, grabbed frosting, raced back to the car, and proceeded to frost cupcakes - from the front seat of my car in the grocery store parking lot.

I am convinced the term "multi-tasking" was invented by a mom.

My only humble piece of advice to the legion of parents mired in the mayhem of child-rearing, try to find enjoyment in the hustle-bustle crazy moments of everyday living.

Believe me – those little darlings grow before your very eyes, and then you'll WISH for one more day of crazy.

I know I do.

In the meantime, maybe we'll order pizza tonight - for pick up.

After all, we have a new driver in the house.

An Authentic Life is written by Katie Walters - a crazed, work from home mom to two adult children, and one teenage son - the last little chick in the nest.

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