Yesterday was a big day in our home!
My son, Bryce, was the recipient of all that was good! Yesterday he turned 15 1/2! Now, that half is a very important part of it.. You see, when you turn 15 1/2 here…you can take your test and if you pass, you recieve a Driver’s Permit! So, last week, during Spring Break….Bryce gave up two of his days to do 10 hours of in-class instruction at driving school. We made an appointment at the DPS to take his test on his 15 1/2 exact birthday….and off we went. I gathered all the needed documentation to prove he was who he said he was….and went into the office.
He filled out a single sheet of paper and we were told to wait. He was called back and I asked if I should come with…the instructor motioned for me to come too. I went back to a little room…and the questions began!
“Are you his mother?” Yes. “Are you 15 1/2?” Yes. “Good…because I’d have to send you packing if you didn’t have that half!” Sign here….initial here…..fingerprinting….sight testing……and then….
“Okay….so I’m going to put you on a computer. It has 20 questions. You need to answer 15 correct to pass. You can skip as many as five before it counts against you. But they will come back around. The first question is a test question and if you get it wrong your computer will shut down….but you shouldn’t, because it is just asking your birthday. Don’t make me come back out there to set you up again. Okay?” Yes.
So mom leaves and goes back to sit down. I looked at my phone…3:00. I start to do something on my phone and look up to Bryce standing there in front of me with a grin and a piece of paper. It’s now 3:02! I can’t believe it.
He tells me he finished, skipping only one because he wasn’t 100% and didn’t want to get one wrong. When he finished, he went to the instructor’s door. The instructor said, “Did your computer shut down on you?”. “No sir, I’m finished.” The instructor looked at Bryce, at his computer, back at Bryce and then his computer again. His computer screen showed that Bryce had indeed finished….and passed! The instructor looked at Bryce and said, “Congratulations son, you’ve just set a new DPS record.” He finished his test in under a minute!
I told Bryce this just showed if he worked towards something he wanted…he could do it…and do it well!!!
Then we went to turn in some paperwork.
You see….for about two weeks now, he has been juggling a decision that is a very difficult one. We found a charter school that isn’t really a traditional high school….but instead calls itself a “Middle College”. This school does all the same classes and core work as his high school…but meets on the campus of our Junior College. As soon as your second semester of your sophomore year, you can begin taking the college courses for double credits. Depending on the student….and the work they do….a student can graduate their traditional “senior year” with not just their high school diploma…..but also a diploma with a full Associate’s Degree! This school has free tutoring…full access to all labs on the campus…and a great atmosphere for learning.
Upon learning of this school….it was BRYCE that did all the research. He made a “Pros and Cons” list and weighed all of his options. He asked us to set up a tour and a meeting with the school’s director. After all of this….he decided to apply. There are only 50 sophomore spots. We filled out his application…but had to still take all of his other documents…..which is where we pick up …. yesterday.
So, after passing his test…we drove to the school to take his documentation. He was all smiles and talking the whole way! This momma was LOVING every minute!! We went up to the third floor where the school meets and went into the office. We gave them all his papers, but had to wait for them to make copies of one thing. While waiting we kept talking. The director came out and greeted us and asked if we were waiting for him. No, just turning in papers. “Well…it’s a good thing,” he said. “You got in!”.
Just when I thought Bryce’s smile couldn’t get ANY bigger…it DID!
When we got in the car to leave the school and then go to get his actual license….he said, “Wow, this day is awesome! First I pass my test…and break a record…THEN I find out I made it into the school!”
Proud momma! He drove to my dad’s after he had his license in hand and we all went to celebrate! My neice and nephew, his Memaw, Gramma and Grampa all joined us! My neice is even wanting to apply to his new school! His smiles were contageous and I couldn’t stop looking at him, across the table….growing up….making great…and hard decisions. I can’t believe God blessed me with this boy. I can’t believe I get to be his mom.
We came home…and after a while I finally sat down…and the emotions hit me! I was emotionally exhausted…and hadn’t even realized it! The tears started streaming down my face. Tbh…they still are this morning!
Happy tears…My boy is growing into such a fabulous young man! I truly am a very proud mom. He studied hard for his test…and busted straight through it! He made hard decisions…ones that I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been strong enough to make at his age! He sees that the next 3 years..can shape his next 60 years.. He is up for that challenge!
Sad tears…the realization hit that this is my first legal driver! But…15 years ago….should have been my first. My first born never got to go through what Bryce is experiencing…nor did his brothers. This hit me hard. As I told my friend….it’s always there. I hate it. I hate that after a whole day of just being a proud mom…it comes to that quiet time of that happiness turning melancholy…and the realization of all that I was robbed of…that THEY were robbed of…is always there. It’s just hard.
Mixed tears…happy and sad….all at the same time. This is normal for me now. Even as proud as I am of Bryce, realizing he is growing up and not my baby any more. He is making some fantastic decisions and he is hitting some wonderful life milestones. Happy and sad…….happy for where he is…and sad for all that was missed.
Such is where my two worlds collide. My new normal. Where my now and my should have been bounce off of each other and my mind is stuck in a vortex of mixed emotions. Only those who have lost a child…and living in their children’s now would understand.
I love it…and hate it all at the same time.
But it doesn’t change how proud I am of my son! He is awesome! He is growing up! He is making me a very proud mom.
Thanks for letting me share…my triumphs and my trials..with all of you!