edToolbar()The cell phone rings, and of course I am way too busy at the moment to take a call from anyone. It’s her special ring, the piano riff, and instantly I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that only a mother kn
“What do you need, Honey?” I ask in hopes that the question will reveal an answer different than the one I knew I was going to hear.
“I’ve been in a little accident, but everyone’s okay.” I then breathe a sigh of relief. At that moment she says something I am certain I haven’t heard in a long time, and quite possibly thought I’d never hear again, “Mom, I need you.”
I know that this teenage driving thing is risky, but I really didn’t believe that only two months after getting her drivers license, my baby would be involved in her first fender bender. Nor, would I have ever believed that a minor accident could possibly bring her father and I to a greater understanding of the vulnerability still alive in our seventeen year-old daughter. On the exterior she appears as though she can take on the world. She is strong, confident, intelligent, dedicated and committed to many a cause, but she still needs us.
I could have very easily made a big deal out of this accident as it is financially going to be a challenge for our family, and because I have reminded her time and time again about looking over her left shoulder. Among many things, I could have yelled at her, and punished her by taking her car away. However, I chose to take a different path, I chose to make this a lesson in learning from mistakes rather than learning about how scared, angry, upset or disappointed she can make her father and I feel. This lesson isn’t about her dad and I, it is a lesson in life from which she needs to learn.
Our little girl is growing up. She is now learning how to right a wrong in a very different way than she did in her primary years, but none the less, using the same tools and skills. She is learning more about being a careful driver, about insurance companies, about auto body shops and. most importantly, that she can rely on the ones who love her even when she thinks the worst thing in the world has just happened.
As a family we are learning more about gratitude. We are so grateful that neither the people in the other car or Sierra were injured in our first fender bender. Life is beautiful, and we must pay attention to the parenting lessons that come our way everyday, and make conscientious choices about what we learn and teach from them.
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