Friday, April 12, 2013

Driving Miss Darlin'!

Today is a monumental day here at My Mid-Life Motherhood, as my eldest child passed her driving test on the first try!  Congratulations Darlin'!
little miss darlin'
Darlin' at 4!
I suppose this means that I have officially graduated from the "Drivin' Miss Darlin'" phase of life.  Driving her to school, to piano, to church, to friend's houses, to parties, to practices, to games, etc.  Now that she is an officially licensed driver, I will more often be relegated to the passenger seat or able to stay at home while she enjoys the new found freedom of her Cinderella license.

In that case, I have officially entered the panic driven state of motherhood, "DRIVING?!  Miss Darlin'?!"  I am quite sure that I will not be the first mother to feel the overwhelming sense of pride and panic in one emotionally flooded moment, when she asks for the keys for that first solo drive.  And yet, I suspect that the allure of having a built in gofer will probably keep me from pushing the panic button at every turn.  Now she can be the one to drive herself and her brother to piano or go to the movies or run an errand or taxi to youth group or carpool to school.  I'm lovin' this already!  (Insert evil laugh here.)
First Drive-Thru while learning with Dad!
Even though she still seems so young to me sitting behind that steering wheel, in hindsight, at 17, I had been driving a year already.  Back then in PA I got my permit at 15 and  my license at 16.  I remember passing the test as soon as possible to make my Sweet 16 all the sweeter!  Growing up in the suburbs of Philly, however, most of my treks were 5-10 minutes away.  Rarely do I recall driving on my own anywhere for more than 20 minutes, until I worked down the shore after graduation and learned to drive that particular back road two hour trek.

Darlin's driving experience is a whole new rat race.  Though we technically still live in the greater suburban Philly area, our particular region is much more rural.  There are no sidewalks, hardly any streetlights (which does make the stargazing phenomenal!), rolling country lanes, turkey buzzards and plenty of deer (both of which like to roam those country roads!)

Most of the driving that Darlin' will need to do will be over hill and dale for the 20 minute ride to school, 20 minutes on the highway for church, 40 minutes on the back roads to visit friends or hoppin' on the turnpike for an hour drive to our nearest family.

A vastly different driving experience than I had growing up.  Even my mom commented that she never had to worry much with the small town driving I had to do compared to the dangerous, country driving my kids will have to do.  Gee thanks, Mom, now I get to worry even more!

Well, as with all parenting milestones, I'm sure this one will have its moments.  Moments of pride, moments of joy, moments of fear, moments of panic, moments of thanks and moments of praise.  In this new phase of motherhood, I will need to trust her to God more and more everyday.  A lesson I'm sure that I will never outgrow.

Drive safely, my Darlin'!
Proudly showing off her new ID!
Oh, good grief...I'm crying...just like my Mom!


  1. This made me cry a little. It just goes so darn quickly, doesn't it? I wish her all the very best. Safe travels to your darling : ).

    1. Thanks! She's been doing well...even helped drive on our recent college road trip!