In just over a week…

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life53 Comments


That baby girl of mine, Aidan? Yeah, well… she's going to start driving.

That's right. This girl, who I swear just blew out her first birthday candle, is going to climb behind the wheel of a 3,000 pound hunk of steel and make it go places on the open road.


It's not that I don't think she'll be great at it.

It's just that whole one more step toward her independence and one more step away from me thing.

Now I'm a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. Thank you.


I think I feel a scrapbook page coming on. For sure.

Cathy ZielskeIn just over a week…

53 Comments on “In just over a week…”

  1. #1

    I can’t believe it either, isn’t she only 14? I remember teaching my oldest how to drive with her 3 siblings in the car too. Every time we got in I would send a prayer up to please make sure we all made it back home safe. We did of course. Good luck on this next adventure with Aidan and can’t wait to see a layout about it. How is Dan feeling about it?

  2. #3

    Oh Cathy, I can’t believe it either. Aidan looks so beautiful (and of course responsible) in that picture. I am sure she will do great. Still, I must say that there is nothing scarier than handing your child the keys to the car. Definitely worse than sending him/her off to kindergarten. It’s all good right? All good! Hang in there. I am sending vibes! My oldest is going off to college this summer. May I join you in the verklempt club?

  3. #4

    Oh well…time flies…! But I am pretty sure that (beautiful) Aidan will do a good job at driving!

    What IM also finding funny is that you are using a few German words once in a while like the “verklempt” in this post. Like that.

    Greetings from Germany, Bianca

  4. #5
    Barb M.

    As the mother of a 17 year old, I say good luck! I was never verklempt when teaching them to drive but the moment they drive away without you is heartbreaking and terrifying. It is like when they walk away from you that first day of kindergarten times 10. Anyway, it is more proof that time marches on.

  5. #6
    Beth Sutton

    This whole growing up thing is ridiculous… but I’ve tried everything I can think of to stop the process and none of it seems to work!

    My girl is coming home today after being gone 2.5 weeks, 2.1 weeks longer than she has ever been gone before… it’s just plain strange. And she seems totally fine with it. Crazy!

    Still a few years away from the driving thing, which is truly frightening… I’m sure Aidan will be a wonderful driver…

  6. #7
    madeline St onge

    Been there done that Cathy–TWICE. Wait till Cole starts driving. I am sure Aidan will be fine and so will momma

  7. #8

    Yes, it was ‘just yesterday’………..MOM TIME is kept differently from real time. MOM TIME is kept in our hearts and kept in our memories………and thank goodnes, kept on our scrap pages.

  8. #10

    Mysteriously, I have found that it hasn’t gotten any easier with the second one, or now with the third. Each one brings that same lump in the throat, blurry eyes, and an ache in the heart-region of my chest. Until this happens to them, they do not know what they are doing to us!

  9. #12
    Nancy McPeak

    At least they have cell phones! You can make them pull over and call you every 1/2 hour so you only have to worry in small increments! With my oldest, there were no cell phones. She just had to call me every 1 1/2 hours.

    Anyway, I am glad I found you! I was wondering what happened to your FB posts and went to your blog. I missed my daily dose off CZ humor! I don’t know how I missed your announcement….I completely understand your reason for making the change. So, nice to see ya!
    Looking forward to your SB page! 🙂

  10. #13
    Petra from NL

    15…. here in the Netherlands you need to be 18 before you can take driving lessons. Can’t believe it starting this early over in the USA!

  11. #14
    Laura Bruynell

    15?? Wow- that is young! My grandson is starting his behind the wheel training today so he can get his permit. He can get his license at age 17.

  12. #15
    Leslie @ {Tiny Wings}

    The thought of putting my oldest behind the wheel next year gives me heart palpitations . . . but only from a “holy cow, he can’t possibly be old enough” aspect. He’s the quiet, responsible kid, and will most likely be a great driver. When I think of my daughter (11) driving some day, I can feel my hair instantly getting grayer!! That one . . . she scares me a bit . . . 😉 I’m sure Aidan will do well. And for perspective, you can always picture Cole behind the wheel just for fun! 🙂

  13. #17
    Laurel S

    Wow, can’t believe how much you and I have in common! Same camera, same weight battle – pretty much at same weight, same age (close anyways), short hair, and now I see this post today… my oldest turns 16 today!

  14. #18

    Hey Nancy, glad you refound me on Facebook! I should do another announcement. I realize people dont come here every week to read! : )

  15. #20

    I feel your pain, Cathy. My youngest daughter just passed her driver’s ed class yesterday…on my birthday, no less. We’ve spent our summer evenings driving around town so she can get enough driving hours to get her restricted permit in the fall.

  16. #22

    Oh, I wished I was dealing with driving….so much safer than what my (13 y.o.) wants to do – Vans Warped Tour. She is bugging us day and night to go with friends. (We said “NO!” by the way.) There will be lots of older boys/young men and who knows what drinking and drugs. She doesn’t realize it is not her that we don’t trust – it is everyone else! I wonder how that will translate to driving? Will we trust her and not everyone else or will we trust everyone else and not her? Hmmmm…..

  17. #23

    Been there, done that. Twice. Now my eldest girl is married and my youngest is engaged. She had her bridal shoot day before yesterday. I’m right there with ya, Cathy.

  18. #24
    Ronnie Crowley

    Ok so another book for you today “the gift of an ordinary day” by Katrina Kenison. Its about watching your kids growing up and the changes in the family. Written by a Mom for Moms who dealing with the inevitable changes. With kids the same age of yours approximately it really has touched home with me. I haven’t finished quite but highly recommend. Its more a story than a self help book. Now I read the back of the book it says there is a Utube excerpt of her reading from it – off to check that out.

  19. #25
    laura w

    I also feel your pain with the driving and the step toward more independence. My son will be starting on July 5th and I am not ready.
    Aidan will do fine and be responsible as you have raised her to be.

  20. #27
    Susan Hanna

    It is hard… watching those milestones pass by. BUT when it comes to driving I was so anxious for each of my kids to get their own license so they would be the drivers instead of the passengers. I just trusted them so much more than just about anyone else.

  21. #28

    Cathy, we too are living somewhat parallel lives. Same age, daughter who is (almost) 15 starting driver’s ed next week, younger son, music obsessions, running…although the running part is in the very early stages for me. The driver’s ed thing is crazy. It’s like I’m going to hand the keys over to a baby…how is she still not a baby? Or at least a toddler? Aidan will do great, I’m sure!

  22. #31

    I completely understand. My girls are 21 and 18. I can still remember watching them drive out of the driveway and into the world. It wasn’t their driving that bothered me, it was everyone else out there not paying attention! It’ll all work out.

  23. #33

    OMG…my husband let my oldest drive the car down the driveway for the first time this morning…Wow. Thank you for posting…makes me feel like I am not crazy to be feeling emotional about this (and irritated he did it while I was not home and I missed it!). He did take pictures though….Our babies are growing TOO FAST.

  24. #34

    Oh bless your heart. My oldest will be a senior in high school and then my youngest will be turning 16 this fall…

    day by day…minute by minute.

  25. #35

    There is nothing more terrifying that that first ride in the car with your teenage at the wheel. Ack! Watch out for the parked car! I think it’s time to practice in an empty parking lot…

  26. #37

    I’m french and I had the same reaction reading Cathy’s post. Here, young people can learn driving with their parents at 16 but they can drive alone only at 18.

  27. #38
    Rachel B.

    No! I can’t believe it! And I bet she knows what D and R stand for, unlike me when I was fifteen and put it in “D”, looked back and expected to go backwards down the driveway, but instead, almost hit the house. Aidan will be much more savvy than that and your scrapbook page will prove it! – Love the Yiddish, any day that you can use it is a good day. Now I have to go watch some Mike Myers/SNL on youtube. Gee, thanks. I WAS going to take a nap!

  28. #39

    Just went through this myself. My oldest daughter turned 16 on May 12th and got her license on May 18th. It is so scary at first but I am getting better. I am past worrying every single second she’s gone now. And yes–its more about the independence and not needing mom so much. Ugh…’ll get through it. Plus, one of the best perks is they WANT to run to the store for you:)

  29. #40

    my boy is nearly 18 and has been driving alone for nearly 12 months and in less than 6 months its my daughters turn…eek. I understand the trusting my child to drive rather than others driving……Aiden will be fine she seems to have a responsible and mature attitude:) Good luck

  30. #43
    gypsy chaos

    “Mom time is kept differently…”
    I love this – THIS sounds like a page waiting to be born.

  31. #44
    gypsy chaos

    The driving age depends on which state one lives in. The less densely populated states like Minnesota have low ages, like 15 .

    The densely packed states, such as New Jersey, require learners to be 16 before taking six hours of lessons from a professional instructor. ($$$ sigh)

    The new driver has to be 17 and have driven with a licensed adult and nobody else for a year before taking the driving test.

    THEN they have restrictions until they’ve had their ‘provisional license’ for a year. After a year and becoming 18, THEN they get a full blown driver’s license!

  32. #45
    gypsy chaos

    I was so torn between being relieved of chauffeuring duties and being terrified of those inattentive drivers! A very bad car accident only four years before our oldest got her permit didn’t help matters.

    But we survived.
    The oldest? Graduated two years ago from college.
    The youngest? They graduated this year from high school.
    I am truly verklempt when I have to deal with anything related to college for Son #2. I am grateful that Son #1 is going to community college for a year. I really don’t think I could handle two kids getting ready for two colleges!

  33. #46
    Jamie Danford

    NOOOoooooOOOOoooOOOO~~~ Hold the phone lady. DRIVING??? Holy curb feelers Batman, that means I’m just that much closer to my kiddo getting behind the wheel too. Eeeeek!! 😉

  34. #47
    Lynn M

    This too shall pass and so much more quickly now that she’s on four wheels. The next phase will be her “own” car. We just went through that with our daughter. She just bought her own car with her OWN money. Now that’s a scrapworthy phase!! She was so excited!! Silent prayers got me through the learning phase; it always worked. Can’t wait to see your page.

  35. #48
    Eileen Van Dyke

    Hold on tight! My daughter just got her license last week!! The first time she drove away after she passed the test, I was out running next to the car with my camera!! Working on a page with her in her toy car as a two year old and now in her car as a 16 year old.

  36. #50

    I feel for ya. It is an extremely scary experience the first time they drive away from you. Then have never been able to get away alone so fast before. You worry about how they’ll come back. My last child is about to drive off into the sunset. I don’t remember aging at all.

  37. #51

    In Nebraska, school permits are legal for students 14 years old and living farther than 5 miles away from school. If my daughter had worked harder for the permit, she could have driven herself to school for the last month of 8th grade. lol! She is 15 now and has been driving herself to school for a year. I can’t wait for you to develop some “new driver” templates. I have yet to document this coming-of-age moment in her life. 🙂

  38. #52
    Sharon Lovoy

    Dear Cathy, we put our daughter Casey on our own personal driver’s training. We didn’t care what the state said; we wanted her to prove to us that she was ready. Believe it or not, but bumper cars figured into this plan and she said the other day that the bumper car part actually helped her avoid many an accident! (she is now 24, so I think we can safely say the results are in). She is a wonderful driver and I believe the months of practice and supervision paid off.

    Another related thread is that my sister told me 6 years ago that she made a firm commitment to always drive the speed limit. When I asked her why–she replied that she was teaching the kids to drive. Now at that time, her oldest was 10 and her youngest was 6. She said that if she consistently speeds, she was teaching her children at an early age to do the same. I totally agreed and joined her in that commitment. I found that I never clinch the steering wheel when I see a state trouper and I love the “Take back our highways” days when they do intensive patrols (code for raising money through fines to cover the end of the month budget)

    Happy driver’s ed!

    I appreciate you!

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