And that’s how my day started.
But it wasn’t just the stress of them driving to school, by themselves, for the first time (by the way, Dude drove them both, Jazz can’t drive yet. So, both my babies in the car – double stress!), it was the fact that I forgot all about the frost factor.
And Dude’s car’s back window defroster thing doesn’t work.
It all started with a warning, “Dude. Are you ready to drive to school on Friday?”
I received a grunt. Which doesn’t tell me much other than the fact that he heard my voice (not necessarily my words). That was good enough for me. (For I could also claim later, “but you GRUNTED! So I know you heard me!” Heh. I’m not a mom of two teenage boys for nothing, thank you very much).
I made sure today would be a good weather day. No snow. No ice. No thunderstorms on the way.
Sixty and sunny – perfect.
Only … I didn’t take into account that the weather would be a “frosty” 28 degrees when they took off for school today, and since the car they drive is outside, this means the thing was frost covered and required scraping.
Dude and I grabbed a scraper and I helped him scrape his windows. In the meantime, the clock was ticking and I knew if they didn’t get on the road in the next five minutes, they would be in serious trouble of walking in late.
Luckily, the car has a good heater aside from the broken back window defroster, and we soon had the car cleaned off. (In fact, I overdid it because I didn’t want to take a chance on him not being able to see out of his windows – not the most ideal situation for a newbie driver).
They got on the road at exactly 7:30. They had exactly twenty minutes to get to school, park, walk across the parking lot and get into class before the bell rung at 7:50 a.m.
I asked Jazz to text me that they had arrived so I wouldn’t worry about them. (I asked Jazz because I didn’t want to distract Dude from driving, parking, other drivers, etc).
At 7:45 a.m., I still didn’t hear anything. I tried not to worry but hello, I’m mom, it’s my job. At 7:46 a.m., I texted them both “Are you there?”
At 7:47 a.m., I called Jazz’s number – it went straight to voice mail. He hadn’t turned his phone on yet.
At 7:47 a.m. and 30 seconds, I called Jazz’s number again. This time, it rang several times before his voice mail message came up. At least the boy had turned it on, which meant THEY WERE ALIVE.
But still … I wondered, I fretted and I couldn’t take it anymore. I threw on a jacket, put on some shoes and drove up to the school taking the same route they would have taken just in case they had had an accident or broke down somewhere along the way and I would find them.
I tried not to, but I kept picturing them involved in an accident on my way to the school. I’m a big believer in NOT believing that kind of stuff happening, so I had a time struggling to keep my imagination in check.
But everything was normal up to the school. I drove into the parking lot of the school at 7:55 a.m. I wasn’t expecting to find them in the parking lot, but still … I had to check.
I saw a boy who looked exactly like Dude walking toward the building. My heart jumped into my sinus cavity and bounced off my cranium.
“Oh Lord. Something happened. And where is Jazz?”
I sort of sped through the parking lot (don’t do that, it’s dangerous, by the way), to see if that was indeed Dude. To my utter relief, it wasn’t – just another poor kid late to school.
I drove through the parking lot until I located Dude’s car.
Yes. Yes, I did. I probably shouldn’t admit that, and I won’t tell the boys that, but we’re all friends here and I can trust you, right?
Anyway, I found the car. It was safely in a parking space and my heart finally safely resumed a normal beat.
In my heart, I KNOW they will be fine. Dude is a good driver, he’s very cautious, perhaps too cautious, but I can’t help worrying about them. I will probably continue worrying about them until they have some experience driving – I know that’s no guarantee that nothing will happen, but at least the odds of something happening dwindle as time goes on.
This letting go of my children thing is HARD. I’m getting better at it, but it’s times like these, like today, when I let them go just a bit more that it really hits me … this parenting gig is BITTER/SWEET.
Just you wait, you young whipper-snappers, your kids will be where my kids are now someday and you’ll know, first hand, just what the heck I’m talking about.