Alyssa turns 16 next Monday. She’s scheduled to take her driving test for her license on Tuesday. I hate to be one of those people who say that these past sixteen years have flown but…they have.
Sure, those early days were tough. She was a terrible sleeper, we drove way too many miles in her first year. She spent way too much time in a car seat and I had a lot (A LOT!) of resentment toward Tom for all the miles we commuted.
But those days are so far in the past. We’re in a good place right now.
Alyssa is so excited to be able to drive by herself. Tom’s…not so excited. He’s apprehensive about her getting her license in January. He’s already informed her (quite sternly…enough so that it brought her to tears, she’s a sensitive soul) that she will not be driving in bad weather. He also told her she won’t be taking her sister anywhere alone in the near future. ON that one, I think he’ll change his mind since Olivia started her orthodontic journey yesterday and this will last at least two years. He’s going to REALLY like the fact that we have another driver in the house, one who can take Liv to Angola and meet me there rather than him having to schedule his life around her appointments. So yeah.
She’s already asked if we can morph into the kind of parents she can just call out to from the back door, “I’ll be back later.”
Probably not, but nice try.
She’s biting at the bit for some independence.
I get it; even as I fight the urge to grab her and hold on tight her, I do get it. This is her life, it’s just beginning, she’s got so much to look forward to, so much promise. And being able to jump in a car and GO is appealing to her.
It also terrifies me (and obviously, Tom.) But that’s our problem, not hers. We can’t stop her from growing up, we wouldn’t even if we could. We have to let her make her way, reminding her often that we’re always here, always a place for her land if she needs a break from anything and everything.
This past Sunday our TV was being weird and so Alyssa and I sat on the couch and watched the first season of America’s Next Top Model on my phone. She laid her head on my shoulder and we held that stupid tiny screen between us. It was awesome. It was moments like that the remind me that even as she spreads her wings, I will always provide her with a nest to call home.
I’m so lucky to have had these sixteen years with her; to have watched her grow and thrive. She’s amazing. This next step is just one more in what I hope and pray is a very long journey of discovery and joy for her.