Babies Shouldn't be Getting Driver's Permits

7:53 PMHeather

Seriously. What is wrong with this country?  Or rather, this great state of Texas?  I mean, who do they think they are--issuing learner's permits to teeny tiny itty bitty baby boys? 

Does this kid even look old enough to be behind the wheel of a moving vehicle--that's NOT one of those cozy coupe cars that you peddle with your feet like Fred Flintstone?

It's ridiculous.  In fact, it's an outrage.  

I can hardly believe it.  

When I climbed into that mini-van last Tuesday and looked over at my oldest, THAT little boy above is who I saw.  Like that scene from Father of the Bride where Steve Martin sees his little girl announcing her engagement at the dinner table.  It was JUST LIKE THAT for me.

Because, for the life of me, I don't know where the years have gone.  And I sorta wanted to scream at the sharp pains I literally felt deep in my heart when I rode as the passenger whilst my son drove.

My son drove.

Y'all.  He drove.  Legally.  While I sat next to him, thinking I deserved an Oscar for my award winning performance as a perfectly calm and reasonable and relaxed mother of a driving teen.

Masking the inner turmoil I felt with the whirlwind of emotions and thoughts and memories swirling inside me like some horrible F5 tornado.  Wanting to hunt down every single mother I know who has already entered this season yet failed to tell me the utter angst I would feel when my first born drove.

Talk about torture for a control freak.  I felt the letting go like a rip across my heart.  Because there is no denying that the baby bird is ready to fly.  On his own.  Taking control for himself.  With my life in HIS hands for a change. 

While I sat next to him, consciously NOT stomping my foot on the floor board as if there was some invisible brake pad, calmly assuring him what a good job he was doing, I realized something.

He is doing a good job.  He is growing up with a wisdom and maturity I lacked at his age.  He is pressing forward, with his mind clearly focused on choosing God's narrow way, swimming upstream, moving toward his goals of attending the college of his dreams. Untethered from peer pressure or fleeting foolish things.  Undeterred.  Unstoppable.

And there it was.  The rising pride that spoke to the storm inside me.  That challenged me that if I was going to keep teaching this young man to trust the One who made him, then I better do the same.  

If I'm going to direct my children to let God in the driver's seat, then I need to do the same.  I need to embrace that passenger seat.  I need to find joy there.  I need to release the control.  Because the truth was, I never had it.

Not since the day he was being knit in my womb.  Not since the day I was told I would miscarry him and I was forced to release it all to One who was forming him.  And I knew it was my Father's goodness that turned the tide and sustained that tiny life within me.

And every day since.  Because any sense of control was only a facade.  As an infant, I couldn't make him sleep if he didn't want to.  As I toddler, I couldn't make him obey if he didn't want to.  I could only give consequences. As a preschooler, I couldn't make him read when he was still learning.  

He is not my own.  He was bought with a price.  The day he accepted that gift, he turned his life over to Christ.

And I must continually do the same.  Turn his life and the lives of my other children to Christ. Day after day.  Moment by moment.  

As my darling boy takes the wheel and chooses his own path.  Charts his own course.  Embraces the plans His Father has for him.

There is no better way. 

Because whether he is driving my car just down the street or taking his own car toward his future when he leaves home, the truth is that he's already chosen the best direction he can.  

And as he surrenders and follows the Lord, I must surrender.  I must continually do what I want that amazing young man to do.

Entrust my very life to our God who controls it all.  And the lives of my children.  To the One who loves us dearly.  Who guides us continually.  Who's got every one of us in His hands.  Pouring out His grace to cover us.  Leading us as our Good Shepherd.

Jesus, take the wheel!  Take it from my hands.  

And speak peace to my aching heart.  On this brutal, beautiful part of mothering.     

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