Jamie got his first driver’s license today. It had been an arduous process, because the first time we went to the DMV, we were informed his completion certificate for Driver’s Ed hadn’t been uploaded yet.
The second time we went, they were overwhelmed with Road Test applicants and turned us away.
Third time lucky, today the DMV was not busy, and they took care of us right away.
Our plan was for me to pick Jamie up from school, then we’d go to the McDonald’s on the way to the DMV and switch drivers so he could warm up a bit before the test. We were both very nervous. I knew that Jamie, who had about 100 driving hours under his belt, could easily pass the exam – unless his nerves got to him. So I concentrated on not letting him see how nervous I was, hoping to keep the mood light and make it easier on him. But, I must confess, my heart was knocking so hard behind my ribs I feared it was visible to the human eye.
(and I hold on tight, but not enough to hold you back)
Everything went as planned. Soon I found myself sitting in the “Road Test Waiting Area” alone (I mean, it was really dead in there today) and it started to hit me. My son was 16. He was a far cry from his “Rusties to the Rescue” T-shirt (from the movie, Robots) and watching Thomas the Tank Engine with me; the two of us sprawled comfortably on the couch, watching Gordon knock himself to bits trying to go 100 mph.
(wish I could slow down time, but not enough to slow you down)
I felt a lump in my throat as I sat there with my fingers crossed for him. I tried texting Erik and Jim, but the wifi must have been down, because my messages hung there, “sending” for eternity. I looked up and Jim was walking through the door. He told me he’d seen Jamie parking the car and he was going to be coming in at any moment. I held my breath, happy that Jim was able to surprise us by showing up, but worried about the exam results just the same.
Jamie walked triumphantly through the door, and told me he was “going to take his picture”. It was done. He had passed the test. The gentleman he tested with walked in with a smile. Of course he had passed. He’d practiced for a year!
Jamie was getting his license. It hit me like a wrecking ball. He wouldn’t need me to drive with him any more, and an entire year of being “the designated passenger” was over. I felt my eyes well up with tears. For just a moment, I wished with all my heart he was still my baby.
(I wish that we could save today, but I know we can’t stay the same)
Of course, I could never be that selfish. Jamie has grown to be a wonderful young man, and I am so proud of him, I could never deny him his freedom. I’ve heard that the hardest part of parenting is letting go. I can attest to this today, when we came home, and I grabbed Maggie, and hugged her hard, and cried and cried. Tears of sadness and of joy.
Congratulations, Jamie, on your well-deserved accomplishment. I am so proud of you that my heart hurts. May you have safe travels today and always. Enjoy your freedom. You have earned it.
Love, Mom (Liz)
words in bold italics are lyrics from Blink-182, “Home is Such A Lonely Place”, by (Hoppus, Barker, Skiba, Feldmann, Hodges)