My husband and I took a road trip with my son and his girlfriend over Thanksgiving break. We traveled over 400 miles each way to spend the holiday at my husband’s aunt’s house. It was an excellent opportunity to spend time getting to know David’s girlfriend, Mariana, and a chance to get away and have some fun.
My skills as a car passenger lack subtlety. I overreact to each car that comes to close, each sudden movement, and each time the driver does something that I have deemed to risky for my taste. It’s caused many tense moments between my husband and myself, since he is the most frequent driver in the household.
As usual, Darren drove most of the miles of this trip, but he did allow David to drive the longest that he ever has on this annual Thanksgiving trek. On the way home, David drove for over three hours. As the four of us switched spots and I moved to the back seat, I felt myself tense up. Would I be a Nervous Nellie backseat driver? I had brought many activities in my backpack that I had hoped to complete on this trip that I hadn’t even begun. I tentatively pulled out my Bible Study lesson and started to fill in the answers. As the miles continued, I felt my shoulders ease and my nerves settle. I was able to read a book I had wanted to finish, prepare for Bible Study, read a magazine, listen to the music, and engage in conversation.
This is a metaphor for my relationship with my children. Darren and I are no longer the “drivers” of their lives. We taught them the rules of the road and watched them become proficient and licensed drivers. Instead of gripping the door handles with white knuckles or feverishly pushing my imaginary brake pedal, it’s time to trust their abilities, sit back, and enjoy the ride.