My new friend Christine said she’s sad thinking about the day her now 15-year-old son will get his drivers license at the end of the summer when he turns 16.
“I will miss my windshield time,” she said as she and a few other families were leaving a gathering at our home. “I love taking my kids and their friends to and from their activities. I don’t want him independent so soon. I will so miss the conversations.”
She added that in time it would be her son driving his friends around instead of her giving them rides.
“It’s really hard when you think of stuff like that. It’s wonderful for them because they get a little bit of independence, but the thing is, a piece of my heart just drives away with them as they won’t need me as much anymore.”
I echo her thoughts. I love the extraordinary ordinary moments in the car of just shooting the breeze, hearing how the day went, learning of my kids’ friendships, discovering what teachers are giving for homework. Life. Conversations in the car, the everyday ordinary, windshield moments are jewels.
There are of course many other parents dreaming of the day they don’t have to play taxi driver to their kid anymore; they imagine all the hours they’ll gain being able to stay home while their kids drive off alone. But, I’m with Christine. I so love my time taking my kids driving them around.
But, it’s becoming few and far between for me, because, my youngest child Gus got his drivers license in March the day he turned 16.
And so many of Gus’s friends are getting cars as they get their license, but that is not happening in our family. Or, Gus encourages us to get another car so at the very least he has full access to a vehicle whenever he needs – or wants—it, without having to ask, but that is also not happening so fast either.
Gus may be ready for full traveling independence but I am not ready to give it totally.
I think being dependent upon one another is a good thing. I want him to have to coordinate car driving privileges with me and his older college-age twin brothers who are home for the summer working full time and going to summer school. Gus also works almost full time as a lifeguard, and there is no other way to get there except driving. I like that he has to ask to go hang out with a friend, to make sure he has a car. We are a family.
And, not only do my sons have to juggle rides due to the number of cars in our household, but I also get to be patient and accommodating in coordinating transportation this summer.
But I like it. It makes us all dependent upon one another.
Take the other day when Gus and I had driven to the gym together to work out, and he had to be at work at a certain time. So, we had to text one of the twins to pick me up at the gym so that Gus could get to work on time.
Gus said, “Mom, if we got another car, we wouldn’t have to worry about you needing a ride from Mick; we could all just drive separately.” But I said I didn’t mind at all.
In fact, I liked it.
Indeed, it is not a bad thing to get to get to depend upon one another, and to coordinate rides with my kids.
Hey, it gave me windshield time with one of my college-age kids. I got to hear about work and school and church and next school year and certain special friendships.
I’m savoring my Windshield Moments with my kids for as long as I can.