When our kids were little, we often heard, “Just wait til he becomes a teen-ager!”. I don’t think that’s a nice thing to say. All ages have their challenges, as well as their own unique treasures.
I find that teen-agers are hilarious. Their wit is so quick. They love to laugh. They are almost adults in so many ways. And yet, they’re still little kids.
I feel it’s important to stay as connected as I can. But that can’t always be an easy task, when it’s only natural for them to start to pull away. So…
Whenever possible, I volunteer to drive my son and his friends for their little outings. I started doing this when they were old enough to venture out around town alone. We live in a small town, so our kids started making little day trips at about 11 years old, to the movies, the bowling alley, or where-ever the group wanted to go. They get their license at sixteen. So I have about seven years as “Taxi Mom” with each child. Mine are seven years apart. So my Taxi Mom years will be a total of fourteen years!
Being the “Taxi Mom” is how I find out what is going on. My ears are open to their conversations. I learn a lot about who they all are. Most of it is just silly fun stuff, but If I hear something disturbing or questionable from my son, or one of my son’s friends, I wait until we are alone. And I will casually ask, “What did you think about what Sam said yesterday in the car?” I may then follow up with, “How does that make you feel?” Or “Do you think that’s appropriate?” My goal is to listen, and hopefully help him to draw his own conclusions. By now, I have already instilled our family values at a younger age. So hopefully, this is the direction he will go.
Being a Taxi Mom can be tiring and time consuming. But it’s an investment in my son’s future. After I went through it with my oldest son, I realized that they grow up fast, and those days are passing quickly. So now I see it as a great opportunity to “hang out” with them. I try not to become one of them, as that’s not what they want, nor would that be appropriate. I am the “Mom” and that’s what I should be. Ever so often, I may make a nice comment, or tease with them a little. But for the most part, I’m just a fly on the wall. They seem to like it that way. And I’ve got my antennas out! Being the Taxi Mom is really actually a blessing.