I have to confess…I postponed and delayed it. I prevaricated and accidentally on purpose, forgot. I cajoled, scolded, denied, the request. I danced around the subject so well, Mikhail Baryshnikov would have been impressed. I found every opportunity to waylay the inevitable. But like any young buck, chomping at the bit for that first taste of real freedom, I realized he could no longer be ignored.
So today, as my son sauntered happily into the DMV with me slowly plodding along, bringing up the rear I watched as he crossed yet another threshold. I am, of course, talking about the dreaded upgrade from Driver’s Permit to Driver’s License.
“Did you bring your permit”
“Yes , mom. Do you have the insurance information?”
“Did you bring the registration?”
“Yes, Chase. In the glove compartment.”
“Did you bring my birth certificate?”
“WHAT? You never told me you needed your birth certificate!!”
“Just kidding, mom.”
We made his appointment with literally a minute to spare. Darn..I was so close!”
Given only three minutes to cram from a one page, laminated study sheet, the Official Driving Instructor called his name and off my “little” man went. He returned about twenty minutes later, walking two feet above ground.
“I passed, Mom! He said I was the best student he’d had that day! Can you believe it?”
Actually, I believe I can. Life is a wonderful enigma. The Rites of Passage of have existed throughout time. Oh , the characters and the scenery have changed. Even the definition of what we consider Rites has changed. And yet, it all remains the same. The “little” man who went out the door returned simply, a young man well on his way to wherever his dreams may take him. Our parents watched us venture out alone as did their parents before them and so on. It makes no difference if was on the family mule or the horse and buggy , the Model T, the family station wagon or Dad’s pickup truck. That very first taste of freedom is intoxicating and first only happens once. So although I approached this moment with very mixed emotions, I wouldn’t take away one minute of the euphoria from my son. He’s earned it.
I hear him call from upstairs.
“Hey Mom. Didn’t you need something from the grocery store? I can go to Publix if you want.”
Ah, I remember those days too.
And so it begins.