April 25, 2023


The big day arrived faster than I imagined, even though we had prepared for it. After a weekend spent getting ready and attending her first prom, we woke up at zero-dark-thirty to drive two hours to the DMV to take Little Miss’s driver’s test to obtain her license.

I was the nervous one. Sitting in the back seat, praying the entire drive that the test would go well, that her nerves would fade into the background, and she would remember all the tips we’d taught her over the last year of driving together. 

“You’re going to do fine, sugar. But if your mom keeps talking, we’re going to make her ride in the trunk,” my sweet husband said, with a giggle. 

We arrived early because early is on time, and on time is late. (This is not my rule. I’m more of the ‘on the dot, on time’ kinda gal. But my compadres? They enjoy being a good half-hour early.) We sat in the parking lot and reviewed a few more tips before entering the DMV. Upon our entry, I knew my role- quickly become best pals with the instructor. Not only is this just good practice in general, but I knew it would ease Little Miss’s nerves. Within two seconds, the little light that said “I’m your new BFF” shone above my head, and the instructor told me every detail about her weekend. #nevermetastranger

With her new license photo taken, Little Miss grabbed her keys and headed out to the parking lot. We watched from the windows like two puppies, with our noses pressed against the glass.

She began with the pre-road-test check of her car…turn signals, brake lights, horn…horn… blaring horn that will.not.shut.off. #shit

“OH NO! OH NO! Go HELP HER!!!!” I yelped, as my sweet man made a mad dash to the car horn, while Little Miss tried her best to melt into the seat in utter embarrassment. (Also...Hi, Daddy...I know that horn was all you!)

The horn stopped, we all laughed, and off they went. It seemed like they were gone for hours, but it was only a matter of a few minutes before they returned to the parking lot. 

“Let's go get your LICENSE!!” my new best pal exclaimed.

I could finally breathe. Taking a test is one thing, preparing your child to take said test, a test that ensures they are prepared to operate a motor vehicle on a roadway with other drivers is quite another. WE PASSED!!

Last night, as I set my alarm the nostalgia washed over me. This will be the first time I haven’t taken Little Miss to school in eleven years. All those mornings of truck-kareoke and gossip sessions- we will have to find a new routine, I thought as I drifted off to sleep.

This morning was a little less rushed on my side. We talked as we got ready and before I knew it…

“Okay, I’m going to go now!” I heard as I turned around to see her, packed and ready with her keys in her hands and a confident smile on her face.

“But…I’m not sure I’m ready,” I said.

“I’m ready!” she said smiling, as we walked outside and she ordered me to not video her pulling out of the driveway. (I did not comply.)

As she drove out of the driveway, I felt a familiar feeling in my stomach as the hot tears rolled swiftly down my cheeks. I was standing in the doorway of Ms. Haywood’s kindergarten classroom, watching my little girl run off to play with her friends, excited to start her new journey. She was ready then too. 

As parents, I guess we are never quite ready for some chapters to come to a close, no matter how much we prepare ourselves or our children for the next. However, I am ready to dive into the chapters ahead, as long as I can still hop back in the passenger seat every now and again.

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