Category Archives: boys

Driving & Life Lessons

I hand Gavin the keys to the car every chance I get. Yesterday was a long and winding, hour-long drive including highways, tricky corners and traffic circles. I’ve taken him out to drive in the dark and in the rain.

I thought I would be a super-cool mom that LOVED driving with my teen. It turns out that’s not the case.Β It makes me nervous, but his ability to be an experienced, competant and skillful driver trumps my need to not feel nervous. So I put on my seat belt, tune to a radio station I love and I crochet. It helps me to look more chill than I am.

At this point in life, he takes the wheel and decides on the speed and when to stop. With me as a guiding presence, a consultant if you will, he navigates the turns, calculates distances and chooses a different side road than I suggest to get to the same place. Of course.

I am accutely aware that without this junction, I leave him attempting to go from ‘non-driver’ to ‘driver’ status without the baby steps and trial and error that ensure he won’t take off the mirrors of all the cars on the right side of road. Oh, I’m so certain that is going to happen when he hugs that side of the road!

But it doesn’t. And we both learn.

I have so little time left for him to practice safely next to me – although I would prefer he take his seat in the back in a five-point restraint car seat and eat a granola bar. I have a little time to contribute my opinions to his decision-making and information bank. I feel looming pressure to make sure he knows everything he needs to know before he pulls out the driveway, alone, that first time. For now, he is a captive audience πŸ™‚

He has begun, on occassion, to tell me to be quiet and let him drive. He assures me he’s ‘got it’ and that he is an excellent driver.

Thank God we’re just talking about driving and not his whole life, right?

What I Want Them To Know

I have a dream of sending well-rounded, renaissance men out into the world. I want to embue them with the ability to write thank you and sympathy cards and make chicken soup from scratch. I want them to be adept at scrubbing pots and pans, unclogging the kitchen sink and making Tollhouse Cookies ~ by heart.

I have a Pinterest board entitled “Things I Want The Boyz To Be Able To Do” and it is a very long list. Skills on my list range from household, repair and social skills to and what I consider one of the most important skills any of us will ever possess – time and project management. Each time I think of something new, I make a note of it and look for opportunities for them to learn. I occassionally find myself doing something and realizing one of them hasn’t done it, so I call them to come for the experience. I am certain if you ask them – they will say that it is something about me that they really enjoy πŸ˜‰

Mikey using a running stitch to repair a hole in his backpack.

I can attest that it is easier and quicker to get a job done without them, but in the long run, the benefits outweigh the cost. Please tell me the benefits will outweight the cost!

 

Both of our teens are enrolled in vocational high schools. Besides their high school requirements, they are learning an arsenal of skills that they can use to maintain their own property, employ themselves during additional schooling or develop a career in a society that is experiencing a real skills gap. We are extremely proud of both of them.Β 

So while their high schools might have requirements to issue my kids their diplomas, I also have my own ideas about money management, accounting and taxes, meaningful sex education, self-defense, survival skills and home economics. I also maintain a list of interesting certifications that people (even young people) can earn that might make them useful and marketable teenagers.

Oh! Who couldn’t use more useful and marketable teenagers?