Well, okay, not really. He didn't steal my car. Technically, he asked before he left. And really it's the car we said he would be able to use once he got his license. And truthfully, he's a very safe driver and I think he's going to be fine. But when we went to the DMV this morning to get his driver's license, I had a little bit of a lump in my throat. And when we left the DMV with his license in his wallet, the lump got a little bigger, and we added butterflies in my stomach. But then....THEN....when we got home and he asked me very nicely if he could drive up to the mall with a friend, I had to close my eyes for a second and catch my breath. I thought that was hard.
It was nothing compared to watching him drive off in the car by himself, carefully signalling at the corner before he made that right turn. That's when my heart, I think, literally stopped for a second.
Eli's a great kid. He's doing great in school. He's respectful and kind. His favorite place in the world is church. He's truly a great kid. But let's face it: great kid or not, he's still a 16-year-old boy. He's still going to roll down his window and blast his music. He's still going to take a chance now and then to look "cool" (that's such an 80's word...insert the current word here) in front of the cute girls walking down the street. He's still going to be a 16-year-old boy.
So he didn't steal my car. He asked, and then he drove carefully off. But there's still something so....wrong about it. There's still something so wrong about my baby boy gaining enough independence to drive away in a car without me. I'm so proud of him for the kid he is and the man he is becoming. But it's official; life will never be the same.