I remember the day I turned sixteen like it was yesterday. I begged my parents to let me take private driver’s ed so I could get my license on my birthday instead of later that summer. Neither of them let me practice much so while I passed the test, I wasn’t the best driver. My sister can attest to that. I picked her up and we headed to McDonald’s for a snack where I rammed into the side of the drive through. Luckily, there was no damage to the car. (My sister on the other hand was an excellent driver since she used to take my Mom’s car out for spin starting when she was eleven but that’s another blog)
When I turned sixteen, we went out for Japanese. Back in the 80’s, eating Teppanyaki was a special occasion kind of thing. I remember feeling very grown up and important. I think I also thought I was pretty mature. I was wrong about all three. Unfortunately, it took me a few more years to figure that out.
Today is my teenager’s Sweet Sixteen.
This milestone, coupled with the fact that my 30th High School Reunion is this weekend, has me in a reminiscing kind of mood. I’ve been remembering the good times, some of the bad and I’ve laughed at how stupid I was back in the day. Makes me wonder if my teen will feel like that when she’s an adult, but probably not. She’s smarter than me and she’s having a completely different teenage experience than I did.
Rosie was not able to get her driver’s license today. In fact, she hasn’t been able to get her permit yet because her POTS makes her so dizzy, we haven’t wanted to try. Two years ago, she was stoked to print out the book online for the test for her permit. Suddenly, she was sick. She hasn’t looked at it since and honestly, it hasn’t come up until recently as all the other kids start driving. Usually when we talk about driving it’s remarking about how young the kid in the car next to us looks not about how she’d like to try. However, I’m sure that deep down she wishes that she could.
The past year, Rosie’s overcome so many obstacles. She’s getting back to school after a year. Attempting to dance again. In November, she’ll compete in the Miss Kansas Teen USA pageant. Slowly but surely she’s looking chronic illness straight in the eyes and staring it down. She’s not going to let it win. I am proud of her. She’s much tougher than me and honestly, I think smarter.
So, here’s my wish my teen now that she’s sixteen
I want her to start feeling well enough to get her permit and learn how to drive. While I’m not in a hurry for her to get her license (I saw what good that did me) but I do want her to be able to do one more thing that all the kids her age can do. I want her to be able to feel more independent and learning to drive is a step in that direction.
I’d also like to throw out there that if I could wave a wand and make everything go away, I would. Unfortunately, I can’t. So, I’ll be happy with the school, dance and driving thing. Progress is progress.