Monday, January 27, 2014

An Epoch Moment

The other day I was telling someone with a baby that they should enjoy every minute, because the time would fly by, and the person of course gave me that look exhausted moms everywhere have, the one that says, "I couldn't even get last night to fly by, let alone the next eighteen years." And then my husband told me later that he didn't agree with me, that he thought time passed at a normal speed, we just had a lot more of it in our rear-view mirrors now that we were 46.

Sorry. They're both wrong. Time is flying, baby. Somebody just lately gave that sucker wings.

Today my daughter gets her driver's license.

Do you understand what this means?

Sure, for her it means she's hit a certain level of age, skill (I hope), and maturity. It means she will wear her seatbelt, turn off her phone, never ever ever drive impaired, and with luck not even listen to the radio. She will follow the good example set by her big brother (except that one time--well, never mind) and be a safe, courteous, above all safe, driver.

She will be on her own.

That's part of what it means, but not the whole thing. There's also this: she will be on her own WITHOUT ME.

Since my son was an infant, I've had to drive my children places. To preschool, to the library, to playdates. Eventually to t-ball practice, and soccer, and music lessons. To riding lessons and basketball and tennis and Winterguard and some of this was all on the same day. My husband and I have shared the driving-to-school gig (I do days when he leaves early for surgery, he does days when he doesn't) but pickup has been almost exclusively mine. Last year, when my son had his license and still lived at home, he occasionally took my daughter to her after-school things, but mostly I still did it, because he so often had activities of his own.

Two weeks ago, on a Thursday, I went out in the early afternoon to body-clip my mare. This takes several hours. At 2:15 I left off, went to the high school, and picked up my daughter. Returned and recommenced clipping. Left off to take my daughter to tennis. Returned and recommenced clipping. Finished just in time to go pick my daughter up and take her to guard practice. Came home, showered--and still had to go pick her back up.

This is what this Thursday will look like, should I decide to body-clip another horse: I went out to the barn and body-clipped a horse. Then I walked back inside and showered.

Whoa, baby. This is going to be epic. This is going to be the biggest thing since the halcyon day when I donated our last half-pack of diapers to the food bank.

I'm not sure I'm ready at all.

P.S. In another sign that the earth rotates ever faster, a small boy who told me earnestly back when he was a first-grader that his newborn sister was, "Off the ventilator, Mrs. Bradley, but they're still keeping her in the NICU," which he pronounced "Nick-you," told me at church yesterday (he towers above me now) that he'd been accepted into the Air Force Academy. Way to go! I think that will bring the number of Tennessee High grads currently enrolled in our service academies to five.