It’s been a long time since I’ve been nervous for one of my kids. Years of (insert sport/ extracurricular activity here) Mom experiences and calls from teachers have desensitized my physiological reactions to their performances, high-stakes tests and various academic/employment applications. And now that we’ve successfully launched one off to college, I understand that a few failures along the way will do more for a child than a record-breaking season or a straight-A’s semester. Suffice it to say, I don’t freak very easily over my children’s exploits.
Nevertheless, there are still moments when I want to cry and vomit and cower in the back of my mini-van mumbling every Catholic prayer I know. One of those was yesterday while my younger son attempted to pass the road exam for his driver’s license during a downpour of Biblical proportions in a flooded town known for its obscene number of round-abouts. Seriously, conditions couldn’t have been worse, and he was already anxious about his parallel parking, which earlier had been abysmal. “You hit the curb.” “You’re 3 feet away.” “Grass will never grow here again.”
After I dropped him off with the instructor, I immediately headed for the nearest empty lot to panic. Although I remained in the driver’s seat, I did fight back tears and say 10 Hail Mary’s. This kid needed a win. Please, God, give him a win! But it was completely out of my control, so I distracted myself with a half-episode of “Parks and Recreation.”
He passed, and nailed the parallel parking! More importantly, I added another layer of parenting experiences to my emotional armor. I hope it’s enough. His twin tests tomorrow.