Tag Archives: daughters

I’m Not a Backseat Driver

Back Seat DriverI probably should clarify.

A couple of days ago, I wrote, “First, my two older daughters went off to college and found boyfriends and started talking about getting married and having kids of their own.”

To be clear, my daughters went off to college two years ago, and those boyfriends have since come and gone. I wasn’t contemplating present boyfriends (although if present boyfriends take the time to read an empty nest blog, they can’t be half bad).

Just for the record, my daughters aren’t planning to get married until they finish college, which is at least two years off. Life can change drastically in two days, much less in two years.

My point was that those choices are entirely theirs. They reached a point, nearly overnight, where they started contemplating a future mostly without me—unless I want to camp out in their back seats.

And that’s my other point. I don’t. They need their own cars, and I need a new one—in more ways than one. As much as I’ve enjoyed telling them what to do for much of their lives—and as much as they seem to now enjoy telling me what to do—it’s nearly time to drive in separate cars down separate roads.

I’ll accompany them as long as they need me, but I’m proud that they’re showing themselves capable of traveling alone. (Of course, not really alone.)

Soon it will be time to take the next exit. If I miss it, the next one may be a long way off, and that would be a waste. I want every mile to count.

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Who’s the Mom?

MomDaughter1These are the moments when I realize the tide has turned.

“Mom, that stuff’s not good for you. Here, drink some water.”

“Mom, don’t be afraid. God is in control, and everything’s going to be all right!”

“Mom, maybe you need to be a little more patient with Dad.”

“Mom, really?”

It’s not the usual teenager guff. It’s real wisdom being played back for me just as I originally presented it to them, only now I’m on the receiving end and feeling a bit rebellious. They stare at me with mature, pleading expressions as if to say, “I love you, Mom, and I really want you to get this—before it’s too late.”

My feelings are a broiling mixture of pride and incredulousness. I’m still the mom. I still know more than they do, right?

Sometimes I actually wonder. Some days it feels like they’ve taken the ball I’ve passed them and run with it much farther than I could ever dream of running. They do things I can’t do. They know things I don’t know. And I’m thankful. But I don’t want to give up my throne.

I’m still moving forward, but clearly not as fast. They will continue increasing in wisdom long after I start repeating the same stories over and over. (I’ve already started doing that.)

If I want to stay ahead of them, there’s only one way—I must continue to grow in grace.