Life can change drastically in one day. My life has changed dramatically since my son got his license. I am realizing how much of my time every day was taken up by driving him around. Max is 16 and is so very busy this summer.
Internship (completed today)
Internship Class (completed)
Football (full steam ahead)
Driving lessons (completed)
The Gym (ongoing)
Friend time (ongoing)
SAT class (one more class)
Working for Seth (ongoing)
What an amazing productive summer Max has had. I was driving him around to ALL of the stuff on this big list and then Max got his license. My wonderful husband agreed to buy Max a car with me for me (for Max too). Are you ready to laugh? I figured out why my hip was bothering me. It was because I was driving so much every day. It was a driving injury. My husband and I laughed because I had an injury from all of the driving. A new car for me and Max having his license seems to have fixed this issue.
As I begin to type this, Max is on his way home from his last day of his internship. I can’t believe how my life has changed and it is so amazing and it’s also a little sad too. Gone are the days of waiting for him. Gone are the days of getting to talk to him in the car. He can drive himself everywhere he needs to go. It’s been a hugely different couple of weeks.
Max got himself up, got ready, and drove himself to school for a club. He came home, changed, and got ready for the last day of his internship. He drove home, changed and got ready for football. I met him at his football meeting. We just arrived home from Max following me home from the meeting. I cried tears of so many emotions on the way home. I don’t think anyone warned me how many feelings I would have as a parent. I am warning you – you will have SO many emotions as a parent. I am warning you that letting go isn’t an easy task.
I realized that I was crying because I was so proud of him. He has come so far. My 16 year old who looks like a man as I look in my rearview mirror at him while he follows me home. I realized that I was crying because I was sad. I don’t need to drive him home anymore. I was feeling so many things that I cried because of that too. I had feelings overload.
An amazing woman that I know is celebrating her son’s 18th birthday today. She thanked her son today for being patient with her as she learns to let go. Such a wise thing to say to her son. I told her that I told Max that I’m growing up as a parent as he grows up. I learned to parent a baby. I learned to parent a toddler. I learned to parent a child. Now I am learning to parent teenagers. Letting go isn’t easy. It is what is supposed to happen. It feels right. Just because something feels right doesn’t make it easy.
I watched Max soar through freshman and sophomore year with flying colors. I can only hope that he sails through his junior year ahead with as much success. I may not have an easy time letting go, but I should give myself some credit for coming this far. I give Max so much credit for coming so far but so have I. I have come so far as a parent. I have successfully gotten through 16 years of parenting an awesome kid.
As we learn to let go, let us be patient, understanding and compassionate with ourselves. Let our children be patient with us. We will learn and grow together. Max is my guinea pig. He goes first and he paves the way for his sisters. I couldn’t imagine a better person for the job.
I will continue to hit bumps.
I will continue to cry.
I will continue to be so very proud of my son.
Every day, in every way, I am learning and growing. I am learning how to parent a teenager. I am learning how to let go slowly. It is such a natural process as I think about it. First, they learn to crawl. Then they learn to walk. Then they learn to run. Then they go to school. Then they learn to drive. Then they go to college. Then they get a job. Then they may get engaged and build a family of their own. I am at the driving phase. As he graduates from driving and enters junior year, I will stay present with him and enjoy this year with him. Junior year was my favorite year of high school. I hope it is for Max too. I know next comes graduation and college. We are not there yet. When we are, I will be ready and so will Max.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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