The back seat of my car is empty.
It should be at the moment, since both of our girls are at school.
However, that’s not what I mean. I no longer have a car seat – in any way, shape or form – in the back seat of my car.
Just a week ago we allowed our seven-year-old to stop riding in her booster seat, something she could have legally done a year ago, but which I had postponed until now. I would have held out even longer, but since our older daughter had graduated from hers at the age of seven, a precedent had been set. Now the back seat looks large and bare.
So, another milestone in parenting has been passed. It’s kind of like packing away the high chair or storing the diaper bag in the top of the closet. People who park beside me in the mall parking lot and cast a glance into my car won’t even know whether or not I have children.
I am finding that part of what makes this journey called parenting so difficult is that things are always changing. It’s been years since I had to change diapers or wake up for 2am feedings. Potty training is behind me and I rarely need to cut up any one’s food.
Instead, I’ve moved on to helping with homework and driving our children to soccer practice and piano lessons. Keeping potentially dangerous objects out of their mouths or making sure all the electrical outlets have child-proof covers are no longer at the top of my list of worries. My concerns these days run more along the lines of who their friends are and how to best protect them from being influenced by all the worldliness that surrounds them. The discipline has become less about obedience and more about attitudes and character development. Some things are simpler, yet so many are infinitely more complicated.
So, you mothers of teenagers and young adults, tell me – does this next phase of childhood pass just as quickly as the first one did? My comfort today is that God is there with me each step of the way, willing to give me the wisdom I so strongly crave, if only I will take the time to seek it.
In Michigan, they have to wait until they're eight so I will face this in July when my oldest "comes of age". These milestones are indeed bittersweet.
Journey to Honduras says
Well, I must say that having Josiah has brought back all of those memories of the little things……however, now I face banquet dresses and hair-do's for Home-Coming Court and for Hunter it is those first little crushes on girls that I have to put a stop too. It is so hard for me to believe that "my little girl" is growing up so fast. She will be 14 in just 2 months and it feels like yesterday we were coloring and playing with babies on the floor…..sniff sniff
Raise Them Up says
My oldest is 12, so I can't offer too much of a look into your future. But I CAN sympathize. 🙂 I'm down to one booster seat.
However, my boys are growing so quickly that there is barely enough room for them all back there. The little guy with the booster seat gets rocked back and forth in the middle so the older boys can buckle their seat belts. And there is always complaining about not having enough room.
Thanks for visiting and commenting about my eat from the pantry challenge. I'm in about the same situation, only my youngest is 6. The laws here just changed so that he needs to be in a booster car seat until 8! That just seems unreasonable to me. But it Has been a while since I've changed a diaper, and I'm not sad about that.
These moments pass by so quickly. Dd is 14 and ds is 10. I look at my friend's baby twins and wonder where the time has gone. Each stage has its ups and downs that is for sure.
Yes, time goes by very quickly-except when you're waiting for your first grandchild to arrive! Then it seems to drag on and on.