by Cheryl Jackson Wednesday June 18, 2008

They just keep coming. It's relentless. You think when your child learns to walk, talk, read, write, that the major milestones have passed and you can relax. No, no, no, no, no.

There's so much more to look forward to (the positive speak), or dread (the way I've been feeling lately). There's choosing and getting started in high school - you hope it's the right fit for your child. There's taking public transit alone - you hope they don't get lost or hurt. There's staying out late with friends -you hope they're smart and don't do anything stupid, and that they get home safely. There are girl friends and boy friends - you hope they find good people who you also like.

But none of that compares with the biggie - getting their driver's license. This requires such a huge leap of faith, I can hardly describe it. It's a very, very big milestone. You are allowing your child to take their own, and others', lives in their hands. Even though you know your child has passed an excellent driver's education course, and has spent hours practising with you (now there's a level of stress not often encountered), you still can't be sure he's ready for the responsibility.

Thank goodness someone else makes that decision. Yesterday, my son took his road test. He was nervous. I was a wreck. I spent half an hour in a dollar store next to the test site, because I couldn't sit still and wait.

He called me (in the napkin aisle) to say he'd passed. In one moment, I felt all these things....happiness, relief, fear and exhaustion. I just wanted to go to bed, and wake up to a baby boy who only needed a diaper changed.

One more down, as I've learned to say. Many more to come.