Today, my son turned 17! I have to say it out loud to really make it seem real! In New Jersey, you can get your driver’s license at 17 so this morning, he went out with his driving instructor before I even left for work. He was really nervous. DJ doesn’t show a lot of emotion but I could tell it was really getting to him. He has had his driving permit for quite some time, but the winter was so rough, and time and sports schedules were so busy, there wasn’t as much time as we had all hoped for to get much practice in lately. His biggest fear was the parallel parking. He was so down on himself about not being able to do it.
Drew left a message taped to his phone this morning. His “Tips for Passing the Driving Test.”
- 9 and 3 (hand position)
- Eyes on the road
- turn off phone
- check mirrors
- DO YOUR BEST!
When he found it this morning, I saw him fold it up and put it into his pocket. Maybe it was his lucky charm?!?
I waited all morning to hear something. I kept my phone in my back pocket waiting to feel it vibrate hoping to get a message from him either way, pass or fail. I just wanted to know. I kept checking to see if I missed a message but I hadn’t. During my break, I sent a message to Dave to see if he had heard anything but he hadn’t either. FINALLY, I saw on my phone that I had a missed call. Of course, the one time I left it on my desk to do a few things, he had tried to reach me! My students were still not with me so I had a minute to call him back.
In his usual, non-expressive tone, he said, “I passed.” I had to make him repeat it… “I passed,” he said, a bit more excited this time. I told him how happy I was for him and that we’d all celebrate tonight! He drove himself over to Drew’s school at the end of the day to pick him up. Drew said it felt “kinda cool” to have his big brother show up at school.
I just got home and saw his license. My little boy – all grown up. It actually is, “kinda cool.” Scary…but cool.