The Daily Juggle
The Daily Juggle
Why I felt liberated when my son got his licence
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My son has his own car and it's liberating. Not only for him. I attended an event in the city one evening recently and didn't have my car with me. So I arranged a meeting place and time with my son and he picked me up. It was such a wonderful feeling. As I walked around the corner and saw his car, which my parents drove for a decade before gifting to him, I felt a twinge of excitement. I love seeing my children at my time but when your child is there specifically to chauffeur you home, it's pretty special.
I still feel a little surprised when I see him in the driver's seat. For so many years it was me driving him everywhere, all the time. There were weeks when my nights resembled that of a taxi driver. I recall spending three hours straight in the car one evening last year as I delivered both sons to and from after-school commitments. How time flies. I automatically head for the driver's door, still, before having to check myself and alter course for the passenger side.
When my son got his license earlier this year it made a noticeable difference to my ability to get in some downtime. My youngest son is rehearsing for the school play. Instead of needing to factor into my Sunday the drive to and from the school, his big brother has taken on the driving duties. It has meant that I can use that small window of time instead to go to the park with my husband and dog. It's my opportunity for incidental fitness. On his non university days (there seem to be many) he will also collect his younger brother from the various after-school activities if necessary.
I used to struggle to fit it all in as my husband and I work full-time. We are careful not to transfer responsibility from us to him. And if he has something else planned then he is off the hook. It's more the comfort of knowing he is willing and able to help, particularly in times of crisis (which I realise may be mostly in my mind).
I travel a lot for work and when I panic-phone my 15-year-old and discover he decided to go to a friend's house after school on a day when I am overnighting in Melbourne, I can rely on my oldest son to drive and collect him if need be.
Liberation has come at a small price though. Now instead of me phoning or texting him to find out when he'll be home or need to be picked up, he does that to me. And in the process he's learning why it can be frustrating when the person you are waiting for has lost track of time.
Have you been liberated by your child's ability to drive?