No one told me how gut wrenching it would be.
Handing over the keys to my first born and saying yes.
Yes, you may sit behind the wheel.
Yes, you may put your hands on that wheel.
And yes, you may even start the car and put your foot (the one that used to wear the red ruby slipper) on the gas pedal and press.
My hands want to reach for the wheel.
My foot wants to slam on that brake.
But I must will myself to stay still - in the passenger seat, the one not behind the wheel.
But my insides are anything but still. They are screaming relentlessly.
My stifled screams pour out as sweat all over my body. I cringe at every mailbox passing too closely by my passenger window.
Thirty minutes later, parked safely in the driveway, I peel my hands from the armrest and notice that they are strangely numb.
I say, “Good job. We’ll practice again tomorrow.”
My stomach lurches as I think of the 40 hours of practice ahead and I close the car door softly behind me.
Letting go of control is never easy and I can't think of a better example than teaching a new driver! I'll be at it again with my son in the Spring. Hopefully experience will be on my side.
Here are some things I have learned about giving up control, whether it be driving or in any other life lesson:
Physically Remove Yourself
I was asked to move to the back seat with my husband in the passenger seat. I found that even harder! Watching your kids struggle is hard and most times they do better without an audience. If possible, remove yourself and spare yourself (and them) some pain.
See your kids as competent human beings
Admit when it's you that's having a hard time watching them struggle. In coaching we see everyone as Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole. Try looking through that lens at your kids, or anyone for that matter.
Acknowledge when you need support
With driving I realized quickly that I was not the best teacher. After our first time out on the road I insisted that my daughter do a few lessons with a qualified instructor. We all need a little help in life.