The First Day of School

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?

Nicole Bandes

Nicole has scaled her own personal mountain to climb out of ordinary. For over 20 years, Nicole Bandes has studied the most effective methods to increase happiness and success in her own life and in business. She has gone on to helped thousands of people in their own personal journeys to reach their goals. Contact Nicole if you are ready to stop being ordinary and have a guided tour to reach your summit of success.

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5 Comments

  1. I don’t have any easy answers, Nicole, But, teenage driving is a heck of a lot different than a child’s first steps. Forget YOU and YOUR CHILD, there are other people out there (pedestrians and other drivers) that deserve some consideration. Do not consider from this statement that I don’t agree with teenage driving- I am a proponent. However, some kids (and I don’t know yours and am NOT classifying him as such) just lack the judgment necessary.
    What would you do if your teenager hit a car (at 5 mph), thought it was nothing (no real visible damage) and drove away?
    What would you do if you disallowed your teenager to drive to a place/event, and he/she did anyway? And, then, what would you do if they managed to total the car during the process?
    What would you do if you knew your child could drive perfectly well on rural streets, but is a little antsy on city streets. And, to get to school (where there are not only other cars, but other kids who act out routinely [get real, parents, they all do] in the middle/more than the sides of the street) these would be of consequence?

    I, for one, judged each of my children on their own. I, for one, had my children learn (and practice) emergency maneuvers. Until they could satisfy the latter, their ability to operate (they learn to drive over the next 6 mo-5 y) a vehicle was restricted by time, place, event. And, when my kids were little, there was no law that exists on the books now- only 1 other child under the age of 19 in the car (unless they are siblings)…

  2. sharon Gonzales

    Wow Roy great information/opinion.

    Driving is a privilege, a skill and an opportunity to grow. I agree that each teenager is to be judged on their own.
    I totally love the practice time you spent with your children on emergency maneuvers and operational skills.

    Life is sacred, being a CONSCIOUS DRIVER takes practice and a deep respect for all Life. We as parents are there to guide, teach and monitor our precious gifts, our children. Restricting the use of a vehicle by time, place, event demonstrates the privilege to drive.

    Thank you for sharing Nicole and thank you Roy.
    May the Light of Divine Guidance act as a safety net to each driver on the roadways of life. May we as parents be gifted the power of Discernment.

  3. Nicole Bandes

    Thanks for your input Roy. There will be consequences to everything we do in life. The same arguments you make could be made for starting a business, moving to a new state, changing jobs, getting married. Are any of us ever really ready? Will there always be challenges and risks to every big decision? I believe so.

  4. Interesting responses to your post,Nicole.
    as a parent I feel knew when my kids were safe and responsible to drive. I do wonder, though, about the parents who buy their kids a car when they turn 16 explaining “This is an old beat up car so when they wreck it the loss is minimal”What ???? I do not get that parent gifting their child a car at all!. in fact I believe a responsible child earns the money (and the right) to rive the car on his own.

  5. Nicole Bandes

    TJ actually did earn the money for his car. He had been saving up since he was 8 or 9 for it. That being said, even when a child does earn their own money and buy their own car, that does not mean a child is automatically capable of driving. Frankly, even though I still consider my son a little risky on the road, I’ve driven with significantly more experienced drivers than he that scared me a WHOLE lot more!

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