Posted by: husbandandfatheroffour | August 1, 2014

Her License & Independence; A Father’s Fear

Can you hear that?  It is a loud and fast thumping sound.  It is pounding in my ears.  It is so loud I wonder how no one else can hear it.  As I sit here at my desk at work my heart pounds forcefully and rapidly against my chest.  My stomach is in knots and my mind races.  I close my eyes and follow that map in my head of the exact route she will be taking.  I keep going over it again and again trying to see if there is any advice that I didn’t give to her for this journey.  Am I the only one to feel like this?  Am I overreacting?  Maybe, but I can’t help it.  While she has had her license for a little over four months now the thought of her making this trip alone scares me.  It scares me because she is driving almost 2 hours by herself without me in the car for advice or help.  She is driving to the north side of Indianapolis where traffic is much more jam-packed than back here in our little community.  There are highway speeds with stop lights mixed in and the worst part is there are other drivers who just don’t care about anyone else but themselves. 

I know this is what has to happen.  I know this is part of letting your child start to grow their own wings and have their independence.  All of that came out of my mouth when I told her she could do this trip.  But if I am being honest that is the other part that scares me.  The bigger her wings grow and the more independence she gets the less she will need us.  Everything will start to become less; time at home, time with her brothers and sisters, time with us.  We are on the verge (two years in fact) of losing her to college.  From there will come a career and then a husband and family and all of this happens in a blink of an eye as time flies by as it seems like we are standing still.  That is what scares me the most.  Her independence, which leads to more time away from us, makes everything seem to go into warp speed.

When you become a parent no one ever tells you about this part.  I understand why too.  Our children becoming more independent, is flat out scary.  It is where you see you teenager really start becoming a young adult.  The world is no longer flat with boundaries and limits, but instead round with infinite possibilities.  You know they are going to start taking journeys that don’t involve you and if you are not there then you can not protect them.  As an adult, even with all the good people and beautiful things in this world, you know there are unpleasant things in this world too.  So with that my heart will always pound at my chest, my mind will always race and my stomach will forever be in a knot.  All I can do is hope that they make the good choices we taught them too and pray that God protects them through these journeys.  It is funny that the one thing I cherish the most in this country is my freedom and independence and that those are also the things I fear the most when it comes to my kids getting older.

I will have four of these transition times to go through and I don’t see any of them being easier than the other.  Right now it is my oldest daughter’s turn.  So now, as she gets older and becomes more independent, all I can do is to continue to be her biggest fan but now it must be more from the sidelines instead of the coaching box.   

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