Fifteen years ago we bought our granddaughter a pink ride on car that played an annoying little Care Bear song. Genie loved that car and rode it non-stop for two summers. She obviously had her mother’s love for being at the wheel – and her questionable taste in music 😂. Six months ago, at fifteen and a half, Genie got her learners license and bought her mother’s mini van. Yesterday, less than a week after her sixteenth birthday, Genie went through her driver’s test and passed on her first try. 👍
Having her license, and her own vehicle, will be a good thing in a lot of ways. Genie will be able to drive herself and her younger brother, Rory, to highschool. She will be able to drive herself to work. She will be able to run errands and take her little sisters places they need to go. She will have the freedom to take herself places that may not otherwise be accessible to her. It will be an asset on future resumes. There are a lot of positives.
Of course, this independence comes with a lot of responsibility and concern for those of us who love her. When Genie gets upset, she walks or rides her bike – for miles. She can go so much farther, so much faster, with real wheels beneath her. Will she drive when she is upset? There are other less responsible and less kind teenagers that do not have a vehicle or their license yet. Will they take advantage of our sweet little girl who has worked so hard for what she has? Then of course, we live in Saskatchewan. For the better part of each year, our roads are covered with ice and snow and our dark of night extends long into what should be daylight hours. Driving is challenging for experienced drivers, how dangerous will it be for our newbie? Finally, Genie will be sharing the road with a host of other drivers, some who should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Will she have the skill to avoid them?
There are some steps to independence and adulthood that are more notable and daunting for teenagers and those of us who love them. This is a big one. Fortunately, we know Genie is responsible. We know she will not abuse this privilege or take this responsibility lightly. Still, we hear echoes of the Care Bear song and suddenly she is our innocent, vulnerable, baby girl again. 😲