August 26, 2003

Scary

So we went to Costco this weekend. What I didn't mention was the scary conversation that John and I had.

We were getting ready to leave and the WildChild had asked if a friend could come with her. I figure this is a good idea since she will then have someone to talk to and not spend the entire shopping trip either asking for things or complaining that she is bored. John and I are gathering our things to leave the house and WildChild comes in and asks for my car keys. I give them to her with the idea that she and Friend would just like to sit in the car and wait. I am just out the door when I see the scariest part....

My child sitting in the driver's seat...starting my car. Now, I know it isn't hard, the damn thing is an automatic. Pretty much turn the key and it starts. No...it was horrifying looking at my child sitting there and realizing that eventually, she'll be old enough to REALLY sit there. Not only old enough to sit there but to start the car, put it in gear and DRIVE. Legally!

She's 13. Seeing her smile is either a rare thing or an hourly thing...depending on hormones, the weather, the phase of the moon and planetary alignment. She had the biggest smile on her face. A smile I haven't seen in a long time. It was such a big smile that it made ME smile rather than fall over in shock. I laughed and she jumped out of the car, quite proud of herself for starting the car and turning the AC on.

OK, so THAT was strange enough, right? We get on the road (which was a parking lot in parts thanks to stupid people on the highway Saturday) and, as usual, John and I are talking about random stuff. I mentioned my car. Not the one I was driving at the time, but the one I want. It alternates between a Mini Cooper S and a ragtop VW Beetle. I talked about wanting to get it before he retires. Not now, but some time in the next two years. Then I heard the phrase that strikes fear in the heart of a mom...."We should just keep this car to give the WildChild when she is 16."

I was good. I didn't immediately drive off into a ditch or anything. I don't think I even swerved. Much. A CAR? For the WildChild? Wasn't I just buying her Barbies??? I was glad that the back seat audience didn't really hear us. A CAR? Holy crap. OK...it does make perfect sense. It is a nice, smallish car. She likes the fact that it is black. It is easy to drive and gets good gas mileage. But....A CAR? I can't even fathom the idea of her being alone, in a car, with her friends, without her parents. I don't WANT to imagine that because I start to remember being in cars with MY friends, sans parental supervision. That's some scary shit!

I have to come to terms with the fact that my child is growing up. I always said that I would handle it so much better than John. That I would be the calm in the storm. I would be the sane parents, the one the child "goes to" with problems. I was wrong. It is him. I'm the one peeking around corners to make sure she isn't alone with a boy. I'm the one standing just out of her line of sight, mouthing "but is is a BOY!!!" and freaking out. I'm the one who will be over here in the corner....playing with her old Barbies.

Posted by rowEn at 11:24 AM | Comments (1)