It starts the minute they turn 15 ½: “Mom, can I drive?” I just survived this rite of passage 2 years ago, and now here we go again with my son Channing.
We start with the empty parking lots. Next the quiet cul-de-sacs. We graduate to back-country roads, then busier streets, then rush hour traffic. I have learned to relax the grip on the door and refrain from screaming, “slow down!”
I look at my son so competent, so freshly eager to be in the driver’s seat of his life. He is cresting the wave of long desired independence and self mastery. For me, sitting in the passenger seat, I don’t have the heart to tell him that the ‘driver’s seat’ is an illusion.
Life will happen – circumstances will shock him repeatedly throughout his life. His true mastery lies within, in how he chooses to respond to that which he can’t control. I know that he’ll find his way . . . and in the meantime, as we come to the next intersection, I look to the driver’s seat and ask, “Which way would you like to turn?”
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