There are so many firsts and lasts in parenting. Today is the last time I’ll pick my son up at his high school. He will turn 16 this summer and this fall will be driving himself to and from school. My emotions have been running high all morning — my everyday normal for the past 11 years has irrevocably changed forever.
I cherish our time in the car . Mornings are for light-hearted banter and the rock music he wants to listen to so he’s pumped up and ready to face the list of AP classes on his schedule. Afternoons are when he’s ready to talk. Some days we take a short drive around our small town, or we head to Starbucks for a coffee. We discuss his day, current events, and life. I have learned more about my son on those drives than he ever gives when we’re at home.
The time we spend in the car together is our safety zone. I am known for having intense direct eye contact when having discussions and there are many times he needs to be able to share his deep feelings or thoughts without eye contact. So the car is a bubble — we can have the conversations he needs without feeling discomfort. No topic is off limits.
In two short years, he’ll leave high school for good and go to college. Right now, I wish more than anything that I could slow time down, maybe even reverse it. Kids were never part of my life plan and I am so incredibly thankful my course changed and I have been able to spend the last 15+ years with this amazing human.
I think today we will take a longer than normal drive and go for a coffee. I’ll be the one wearing large sunglasses to hide the tears.
Don’t blink, friends. It all goes by so fast.