Parenting comes full circle

Published 1:37 am Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It is interesting to watch your children parenting their children, especially when those children are teenagers. I smiled about that as I thought about grandchild No. 2 hitting her sweet 16 milestone today.

As I type these words, my daughter and granddaughter are probably on their way to or in the process of getting said grandchild a license to drive. Let the fun begin.

Yep, Allie is about to take a step toward independence, and I am wondering how her parents are going to handle it. It is a strange feeling when your baby drives off on her own for the first time.

There is a mixture of celebration and panic. Finally, you are free of being taxi driver to the teens, but your child is out driving in the world without you to make sure he or she is safe. That takes some getting used to.

How well I remember listening for the sound of a car at curfew time. What a feeling of relief when I heard the engine stop and the car door slam.

We felt blessed because our kids were good about coming in on time or calling if they were running late. Well except for that time my daughter, Allie’s mother, stayed out longer than usual and scared all sense of reasonable response out of me.

In her defense, she was in college and working part-time. Still, she lived at home, was later than she said she’d be, didn’t call and she was my baby. So, my hysterical reaction was completely justified.

Now, coming full circle my daughter gets to be the mother with the daughter on the road. I wish them well and have no doubt Allie with give her mother no reason for hysteria. (I smile broadly as I type the word “hysteria”).

Last night, I talked to Allie, who has a little sinus issue going on. As she sniffed her way through the conversation, the subject of driving came up.

“Maybe the trooper will feel sorry for me because I’m sick and pass me,” Allie said. “I want to get my license Gran.”

“You will be fine,” I said. “I know you will pass. Are you excited or nervous about driving by yourself?”

“Excited, but a little nervous, too,” she said.

I told her to take it slow and she’d be fine. Saying the words aloud, I also said a silent prayer that the saint who watches over new drivers will pay her special attention for the next few weeks.

“Let me know after you take your test,” I said. “Send me a message or post it on Facebook.”

“I’m pretty sure Mother will post it on Facebook,” Allie said. “Well, unless … if you don’t see anything, you will know I failed.”

I tried to reassure her with my story about it taking three tries to get my license. Maybe that wasn’t the most helpful story.

“That is really sad, Gran,” Allie said.

“Yes, I guess it is,” I said, “but you don’t have to worry about anything like that happening to you.”

Now, I’m waiting to hear from daughter or granddaughter about the outcome of their morning adventure. I’m expecting a celebratory call from an excited young woman or a more tempered call from a daughter suddenly hit with the realization her child is going out on the road without her in the co-pilot’s seat.

As I wait, I remember 16 years ago watching my child give birth to her child. The years flew and now that child, grandchild No. 2 is about to be truly mobile.

How interesting is this circle of life. Generation after generation experiencing the miracle of birth and the challenge of babies growing toward the day they soar from the nest out into the great wide world.

I hear Allie flapping her wings. It’s going to be interesting to see how my child handles her baby’s first flight out of the nest all by herself.