Jack turned 17 this summer. 17 is the magic age in New Jersey when you’re granted the ultimate symbol of independence – a driver’s license. His birthday had come and gone without much thought of what he was missing, but lately I find myself driving down the streets of Maplewood, horrified as I see familiar faces behind the wheel of large SUVs. Faces of children who’s diapers I changed.
Not only does it seem dangerous to trust these kids with cars, but it’s another reminder that Jack is no longer moving at the same pace as his “typical” peers. He will never drive. He can’t even sit in the front seat of our car (that’s not a safely thing – it’s that he changes the radio station and loves playing with the heat warmers).
So, I’ve been feeling a little melancholy with this added reminder of Jack’s lack of independence, and then on Friday I got hit with the other side of things.
Further proof that I live between two worlds — Anna has just completed Driver’s Ed. She walked in from school on Friday and announced that she “passed the test”. I tried my darndest to sound happy for her, and I am. I’m looking forward to a day not filled with pick-ups and drop-offs. I’m also excited for her to gain the freedom that a license can provide. But, when I think about handing the keys of our car to our perfect little girl. I start to panic.
Life is never easy. I’m both sad for my son NOT to get his license and I’m freaking out that my daughter WILL.
Luckily, we still have some time before Anna can get her license. Even after passing the test, she can’t even get her permit until June – thank goodness we live in New Jersey. I need a little time to prepare for this next stage of worry for this mama raising kids in two separate worlds.