I recently did something very courageous. I let our older son drive to school.
What’s the big deal?
Well. I thought I’d be really good at helping our son learn how drive. Turns out, not so much. Admittedly, I was nervous. First of all, he is my child! And I’m just not ready to accept that he is capable of driving a CAR!
Second, he has always been my primary button pusher. He was designed that way. Always knows exactly what to say that’s sure to get a reaction from me. (Picture a cartoon character turning red, with steam coming out of her ears. Yep, that’s me.) And he’s wickedly stubborn, like someone else I know. (Yep, me again!) Luckily that’s balanced by the fact that he’s also the most wonderfully sensitive, kind, compassionate person I know besides my husband.
Pair all of that with my very bad depth perception and, voila- you have a recipe for a high stress situation. After our second blowup in the car, my husband, the even-keeled man that he is, stepped in and took over the lead position in our son’s pursuit to earn his practice hours behind the wheel. Everyone is happy- whew!
Over time, my husband shared how our son was navigating the streets of Los Angeles. Evidently, he was a very reliable driver. They even ventured onto the infamous LA freeways on many occasions. Our son’s goal was clear: upon getting his license, he wanted to be able to drive himself to school, twenty-six miles away. Twenty-six LOS ANGELES miles, which could equate to anywhere from forty minutes to over two hours in the car each way. My husband and I agreed that once he (I) was comfortable driving locally for several weeks, we’d consider allowing him to make that big drive on his own. But we wanted to make sure he was completely prepared, so we agreed that some practice drives would be helpful.
So when his carpool wasn’t available one morning, the thought crossed my mind, almost like a whisper, “Sarah, now’s your chance to step in. This will show that you’re confident with his driving skills.” (Darned whisper!) This felt like a huge leap of faith for me. I went back and forth- would I be able to remain calm and avoid a meltdown? Would I be able to contain my nerves? My sense was that regardless of the answers, it was time.
I looked out our window that morning and enjoyed the sunrise, offering a silent prayer that it not be my last.
Time has been funny lately and I find myself facing all sorts of fears. One is around losing my parents. I’m witnessing their (not so slow) decline. Both of them still mentally sharp, their physical bodies are failing. They’re smaller and more fragile. They require more care. More patience. And I’m noticing our roles are occasionally reversing, with me being the parent to my own parents.
I’m also aware of the march of time with our older son beyond his driving escapades. He’s already been accepted into two colleges, both out of state, that will take him far away. Although in my mind he still may be the little boy that held my hand as we walked to elementary school, the truth of his growth and maturity are clearly evident. And soon, he will be leaving us to experience his own adventures.
And sure, we still have our younger son at home, but next year he’s off to high school. A much more independent child than our older son, I’m witnessing him flourish academically, socially, physically and even spiritually. He’s spreading his wings, too, reflecting back to me not only his development, but my own.
Even my husband is transforming. This year has been a doozy for him. With work challenges, I’ve witnessed him confront some hefty issues ripe to be resolved. And along with releasing old beliefs, he has also been releasing weight from his body. He continues to challenge himself creatively and ask the hard questions about what his place is in this world.
And yes, I’m changing too. As my course in Consciousness, Radiant Health and Healing comes to its conclusion, I acknowledge the tremendous growth I’m experiencing. I have a profound clarity around truth and ego; and beyond having the ability to identify when my ego is at play, I also have the skills to more quickly move back into my loving.
I’m keenly aware of how life is shifting. I’m becoming a newer version of myself. At fifty-five, I’m entering a new phase of curiosity. What will my future hold? What will fill my days as my job as mom shifts? Will taking care of our boys be replaced with helping my parents? Will I find my next career in writing? Will my health continue? Will we ever find financial stability? All these wonderful, fabulous questions swirl in my head as we clear the path into the new year.
And while I acknowledge the many areas of uncertainty, I also notice the courage I’m experiencing in moving through the questions. The aliveness I felt in allowing our son to drive into school was invigorating. As I make choices, I want that kind of courage to permeate all areas of my life. I want to experience joy. Every day. I want to be a vessel for light. Allow my creativity to flow with ease and release the attachment to the outcome. Be of service to my boys, my hubby, my parents, my siblings and my friends all while establishing healthy boundaries to serve myself.
2022, I welcome you.
Oh, and that drive with our son- he was amazing. Handled the freeways, traffic, merges, lights, and a few crazy drivers with confidence and ease. Neither one of us got upset. And while I may have grabbed the handle above the door a couple times, I kept my worries at bay. We were even able to enjoy a lovely conversation on the way.
Stepping forward into and through the fear, that’s my motto for this year. (It even rhymes!)
And my wish for you, dear reader, is a year filled with all your heart’s desires. Bumpy roads and all. Because as I’m reminded by our son, the joy can be found in the journey- not just the destination.