Rites of Passage (Or Of Key Chains and Chainsaws)

Time seems to be passing so quickly at our house these days. Unlike when there’s no apparent reason for this phenomenon, of late the reasons have been very clear. Certain events have been distinctly marking the passage of time – rites of passage. Being the mother of an almost 17 year-old I find myself noting these events with much attention. I’m happy and excited to watch my oldest boy grow into a thoughtful, fun, and energetic young man but admittedly it is with some angst. Two and a half weeks ago he crossed into the realm of being licensed to drive on his own. Yes, on his own…I’m still processing it.

He’s a very good driver – cautious, conscientious. It’s the “by himself” aspect that gets me. All the while we were driving with him it was fine but the first few times I watched him drive off alone I felt utterly insane for letting him go and completely ill at ease until he returned. I now know the red “PANIC” button on the car starter is actually for the parents of new drivers! 

Incredibly, two weeks later it is second nature to pass him the keys to run an errand, or head to the gym or hang out with friends. He loves his new-found freedom though was not impressed when his younger brother teased him about driving a “soccer mom van” (note:  I really was only ever a “hockey mom”). Needless to say, he now asks specifically to borrow the car.

So, after just getting used to “self-transportation”, yesterday brought another milestone.

The chainsaw.

chainsaw 002

I grew up in a forestry community  and where we live now a chainsaw is something of a necessity for cutting firewood and clearing brush so it was almost an expectation that my boys eventually learn to use one. That said, when my oldest used the chainsaw by himself, just two weeks after getting his driver’s license, it forcibly highlighted the rapid passage of time.

Of course, he had on steel-toed boots and protective chaps and there were plenty of safety prompts. And of course, he did just fine. And, surprisingly, so did I. And happily I am starting to become  comfortable with the inevitable. He will grow up and it will be okay.



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