Today I had my new-driver-son drive me to the library. He needs driving hours and since our local library is being renovated it's a good 20 minutes out to the next closest one. I thought it was a pretty easy straight shot that wouldn't stress him (or me) out too much. I thought wrong. I could see my life pass before my eyes at least 3 different times. Since I have no filter I utter every worried thought that comes into my head. His confidence must suffer when he drives with me. I cherish the stop lights during our drives. It's when I let my knuckles relax from the death grip I have on the armrest. I was literally kissing our driveway when we got home for good this afternoon.
When we arrived at the library I let out a huge sigh. Half way there, I thought. On the way in we got a look at a new baby in nothing but his diaper kicking back in his infant car seat. His eyes were bothered by the afternoon sun and his mother didn't bother to turn him around. "Cute baby" I told her admiring all the rolls of fat and remembering the same rolls I used to squeeze on my babies. On the way out we saw some vending machines. I felt the need for some chocolate to make it through the drive home. Twix was my drug of choice. Big Boy chose milano cookies. I told him I thought I knew why he liked those so much and his reply was "is it because I am your son?" ha ha. So. dang. funny. "No actually it's because when you were about that baby's age I used them on you more than once to calm you in the car." It's true. Even though I knew the rules about introducing solid foods to babies of a certain age, in moments of desperation I succumbed and gave a 2 month old cookies. I had read the baby books. But my new parent ears could not really stand the sound of my son's cries in the car. I had bought a case of sucrose water from the pharmacy before we left Utah and moved to the Bay Area. That is what the nurses in the infant nursery at the hospital used, who was I to question their techniques? He loved the stuff and it was quite soother for stress in the car. When the case of sugar water ran out, I asked my pediatrician where I could get more and he thought I was nuts and told me I didn't need that at all. Don't you just love being criticized by a pediatrician? Yeah, me too. So I smartly went with milanos and didn't mention it to the doctor at his next visit. I weighed the two evils and went with possible food allergies and a quiet car. It was (ironically) my newness to driving in a crowded area with actual traffic on El Camino that stressed me to the point of such bad parenting. But as I held the cookie in his mouth while driving, I watched him gum down his biscuit cookie smearing a messy chocolate center all over his happy face, calming down beautifully. I probably told him how good it was. That Pepperidge Farms really knows what they are doing.
We are now in the process of searching for a college for Big Boy to attend. He has taken the ACT and met with his counselor at school. We are headed west for some college visits at the end of the month. This is the big time! It has been interesting to see him spread his wings a bit. Taking on his eagle project and playing the boss for a Saturday morning of trail clearing. I am not sure how ready I am for this next step. Perhaps I will need a bag of mint milano cookies to sooth me while I think it over.