Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Can't Believe My Babys Driving and other thoughts...

Well, a major milestone has been reached in my daughters life. She is now officially a licensed driver. She says I made her go to the DMV on Friday, I actually thought that she had suggested it. That's exactly why I want this blog because I obviously can't even correctly remember the conversation that took place that led up to Jessica getting her license.

This morning though hammered it all home. I was sitting at my desk at work when I got her call.

"Mom?" she said.....

"Yes, baby" I replied.....

"I drove to work by myself" Jessica responded....

I swallowed hard hoping she didn't hear me.

"That's wonderful!!!!" is what I said back.....what I was really thinking, with tears in my eyes was that she is now grown.

No. More. Baby.

It's final. It makes me cry just sitting here typing. She is now independent, which as parents is what we all strive for when raising our children. I am happy, yet there is a part of me that is very sad and scared and I'm feeling rather strange.

Did my mom feel that too when I drove off for the first time? I, however, unlike Jessica was standing at the DMV the day I turned 16.

Anxious.....wanting freedom and independence...wanting something that I am not sure that I have ever found. Maybe that is why I always liked to just ride around. My first car that was all my own was a 1980 Pontiac Firebird. Pearl white with gold pinstripes and tan interior. I was 17 when I bought it. I lied about my age as you could easily do back then before computers. I had a full time job, had graduated high school, no one ever questioned when I applied for that first loan. Who would have thought that I was only 17?

I drove 55,000 miles in the first two years that I owned it. I always had a change of clothes in the trunk as I never knew where I would go. Sometimes it was the Outer Banks, sometimes just cruising the strip at Virginia Beach, once or twice I went to Maryland to pick up a girlfriend for a trip back to Virginia. So many miles so long ago......so many memories.

Why is it different when it is my own child? Jessica has never been one to seem brave, yet inside is a core of steel. I found that out this last year when her father was so sick. She was the one with the voice of reason, to be strong and tell me, her mother, that he had to be placed. That I could not continue to shoulder the burden. She was the brave one when it came to taking on his side of the family, that fought us with everything they had, insisting he was well, and could still be at home. She said words to them that were ugly but they were ugly to her. She did not start it. She was the strong one. I could not stand up for myself. She did it for me.

My baby hasn't been a baby for a very long time and I didn't even realize that until I was writing this post.

She is an adult. A good, responsible, caring adult at that.

I can't take all the credit though. There was a lot of other people in her life that has helped shape her. Butch, my mom, my dad, Butch's mom, my brother, and even some of her teachers. The bottom line though is that she has always been that person deep within herself.

I am proud she is my daughter.

I love you Jessica. I can't ever imagine my life without you.


  1. Finally, someone who can understand why I wake up in the middle of the night, in a panic, thinking about Hannah getting on the schoolbus for the first time. Kindergarten this Fall...eek!

  2. Just wait until when she gets her license, then you are really going to lose it. I think with Jacob you are going to feel ok, but when Hannah does it, that's going to be the rough one. Of course I think Hannah's going to be standing at the DMV the day she turns 16.