As some of you know, our daughter got her driver’s license this week.
On Wednesday, as she was driving us to church, I was thinking about the conversations we won’t be having in the future. The more she drives alone, the less we drive together, the less we get the dad-daughter time that has been wonderful.
I was getting pretty teary.
And then I started looking through her eyes. She was two days away from beginning the independence that comes from having your license. Assuming she has access to the car, she will get to choose when to go shopping, when to go to *bucks. She will deliver herself to events.
No wonder she was getting excited.
On Friday morning, she got her license. On Friday afternoon she took her first solo drive, to the local university where she is singing with the University Singers (as a high school senior). We asked her to text when she got to class. (We also followed a couple minutes behind without telling her.)
“I’m here. Felt great.”
This isn’t a melancholy dad post. (Not anymore). This is a reminder that it is very easy to forget what it is like to be starting something new.
Those of us who already are experienced forget…
- the scaredness
- the wonder
- the confidence
- the energy
- the indecision
- the passion
…of a person who is learning, who had just received permission, who has just realized something new.
In our addiction to viewing the world from inside our own head and though our own experiences, we don’t figure out the ways to help other people learn, grow, dream. We don’t help, we don’t train, we don’t lay out possible next steps, we don’t laugh and cry and delight in the energy of novices.
I forget that I know more about what I’ve been through than others. I judge them by what I know rather than helping them learn. I get frustrated, when I’ve done nothing to make things clear.
It’s the weekend.
- For those of us with kids, it’s a great time to remember what it is that they don’t know yet, that they are looking forward to. It’s a great time to look through their eyes and equip and encourage (rather than constantly warning them.)
- For those of us in churches, it’s a great time to remember how much we don’t understand ourselves rather than being critical of what other people aren’t doing.
- For those of us who understand social media, it’s a great time to think about how to email stuff to the people we are talking with who don’t have any other way to learn (rather than sending them to our blog all the time).
- For those of us with spouses, it’s a great time to stop and think about whether we’ve ever told them how grateful we are that they took us on as a major, and how much they have learned about us without us giving them nearly enough information about what’s happening inside our heads.
- For those of us with skills, it’s a great time to think about our apprentices, our admirers, our followers and say, “I never told you how I figured that out. Let me explain it.” (Rather than “man, when I started, I was perfect. I got this right away.”)
Someone is always just starting. That shouldn’t be annoying. It should be relief.
It means there’s a future.