Okay, let's just try to forget about Halloween and tornado costumes and half-eaten bags of candy pumpkins that the trick-or-treaters are never going to see - just for a little bit, okay? The holiday excitement here has reached a fever pitch, and I need a little break.
So....Sunday I took my son Theo out with his brand-new driver's permit. Theo is my oldest, which means that this was a brand-new experience for me. Nothing, I mean, nothing - not getting married, not giving birth, not realizing that you like to go to sleep by 9:30 - nothing makes you feel as suddenly, irretrievably aged as putting your first-born baby boy behind the wheel of an honest-to-goodness motor vehicle. My brain essentially flipped itself inside out trying to comprehend how, in a time span encompassing approximately 15.8 seconds, I went from trying to figure out how to buckle in Theo's infant car seat to showing him how to adjust the driver's side mirror. I know you parents out there who have already been through this are smirking and saying, "Novice!", just as I do when I read about some young parent worrying about how to make a 2-year-old behave; but, dear Lord, how did this happen? Where did the time go? How did I get so old?
Okay, okay, I'm going to calm down. I am glad to report that I only slammed on the imaginary brake once (okay, twice) during the entire 2-hour session. Although I noticed, once I pried my clenched fingers off it, that the passenger-assist handle that Honda thoughtfully places above the passenger-side door seems to have worked itself a bit loose. Theo had a great time and asked lots of questions, such as "If the speedometer goes up to 120, does that mean the car can go that fast?" (Over your dead body) and "Gee, can we go out on the road now?" (No, not until you learn to stop the car before the stop sign). And the whole time I was thinking, "There are 5 more kids after this one. I cannot survive this." We did leave the nice, big, safe parking lot to go out on the road (the very untrafficked side roads) at the end, with me praying that he wouldn't slam into someone's parked Volvo or Lexus (we live in an affluent neighborhood, and no, I don't know why they let trailer trash like us own a home here, either). I didn't let him go over 25 mph (let's face it, it's my one and only chance to control how he drives). We made it home, in one piece and undented, but I feel as though I aged 10 years.
I have a child that drives. I am officially old.