Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage
27th October 2010

Sometimes the key milestones in life approach gradually and you anticipate their arrival, whilst others spring up and grab you when you least expect it.

Jeff was seventeen at the weekend and even in my most  forgetful moment I wasn't going to overlook that event. However, this landmark event brought with it something of a surprise. Jeff had his first driving lesson on the afternoon of his seventeenth birthday.

The lesson was planned and booked, but nothing prepared me for the impact the event had on me. There he was, still more a boy than a man in my eyes, but how can a boy be legally driving a car? After a brief word with his new instructor hey went off for an hour of tuition. I hung around nervously awaiting his return at 3.00pm. As the hour approached I found reasons to be fiddling around in the garage with the doors open, able to watch for his return without being too obvious about it. How would it go? would he be ok? would the the driving instructor be ok? For goodness sake, he is only a boy and surely he is way too young to be driving.

3.05pm arrived and no Jeff. 3.08pm and surely they must have crashed. Finally at 3.10pm the car drew up outside the house, and there at the wheel sat Jeff - no longer a little boy but very much a young man. In the space of ah hour he had aged and matured, tipping the scales into adulthood.

His instructor was full of praise and reasurance. He drove well, had a good command of steering and a natural road sense. Phew!

But I shouldn't have worried should I?. After all, Jeff has been competently handling a 15 ton narrowboat for over four years. I have watched him manoeuvre it around on a flooded Trent with complete confidence so why not a car?

So Jeff returned, his face wreathed in  smiles of achievement and his heart  consumed with a passion for driving. I was shocked by the pride I felt as I watched him drive up. Something momentous had happened, I had checked my mirrors, indicated and manoeuvred all in the proper sequence, but I never saw it coming.

 My boy has become a man and there is no going back.

1 comment:

Halfie said...

Sounds like you have good cause to be proud of your son, Andy.