the words of tim walker

the taxi years

image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons/by zbdh12
image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons/by zbdh12

my oldest son just turned sixteen a couple of months ago. because of the law in our state, he has to wait exactly a year from the date he got his learner’s license, and since we were a little delayed in making that happen, he will be sixteen and a couple of months before he is eligible for that prized possession.
he is counting down the days.

i’m excited for him.
and a little sad.

it will be great when he can drive himself to school.
and to work.
and to his friend’s house.
and to the store when he needs something. (or when we need something.)
and to lacrosse practice and games.

my son is very social, and he has good friends.
he’s not like his dad who would have been perfectly content to hang out at home all weekend.
so on the weekends, i spend a lot of time in the car driving him to work, driving him to a friend’s house, driving him to games.
it’s a lot of driving.

since there are five of us in our family, that’s a lot of logistics—who needs to be where and when.
and since i’m a details person, it sometimes stresses me out trying to figure out how to make it all work.

for example, this past weekend, he had a lacrosse game on friday night.
then he went to a friend’s house to spend the night.
that friend got him to work saturday morning.
i picked him up from work to take him to driving school for two hours.
then he had to go back into work. so i drove him there.
then picked him up when he was done.
then we went to my parents’ house.
well, you get the picture.

when he starts driving solo, i will gain some time back from the moments i spend getting him from one place to another.
but i’m also losing something.

the car is the place where we connect.
it’s a few minutes of simply being with one another.
it’s the place where a conversation may happen.
and it’s just another hit from reality that he is growing up.
my time with him is decreasing.

that’s the way it should be. my wife and i are raising an adult, not a child.
but sometimes i miss the child.
sometimes all i can see is the man he is becoming.
i like that man, he is a very good man.
but he’s just not my little boy.

it’s not all melancholy.
i know sometimes he’ll want to ride with me to save some gas money.
he’ll want to go out to eat with us.
and there’s always a superhero movie to see.

but the time is going faster.
and i know that driver’s license will accelerate things even more.


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