My son drove himself to school for the very first time today. He’s 16 and just started his junior year in high school. I guess I’m a little unusual as a mom because there were no fire works for me. No feelings of overwhelm as my little boy drove away. It was just the natural course of events. Sure, as I think about it, I think about those days when he was so cute in his first day of school clothes, ready to take on the world (he’s never been shy). It’s time though. Like the proverbial mother pushing her bird out the nest so he can learn to fly, I feel like he will learn some things better in the real world than under my protection. While I’m not convinced that he is really ready to be driving on his own, I also believe some things have to be experienced before we are fully ready.
How often do we waste our lives away waiting for that right time? Far too often I’d say. What if we did that with our children?
- What if we waited till we KNEW they could walk before allowing them to take that first step? Would they ever walk?
- What if we didn’t allow them to say a word until they had perfect English with an advanced vocabulary? Would they ever speak?
- What if they weren’t permitted to attend school until we were certain they had all the right answers?
- What about getting on a bike before we knew they had perfect balance?
- And what if we never let them get behind the wheel of a car until they were guaranteed not to get into an accident?
Life is full of unknowns. We’ll never have a crystal ball telling us that everything is going to be safe and no harm will come to us. This is such an important point in life that there are so many wonderful quotes about it. Here’s one of my favorites:
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd
Not only is it ok, it is a vital part of living to take that leap of faith and see where the ride takes us. The only way to get the most out of life is to go out an live it, even if you aren’t ready. Where is your ride going?