Things are a bit weird around here at the moment – Teen 1 has passed her driving test.
This is, of course, cause for great celebration. Passed first time – yippee! Can drive herself places – Yippee! Can drive me places – yippee!
That last bit was me BEFORE the test.
Now the L plates are off the reality is that she is rarely here, pausing in the door way just long enough to nonchalantly swing her car keys in my direction before speeding off (within the speed limit obvs – don’t want to short circuit the telematics black box fitted for the insurance) the lingering echo of drum and bass the only evidence that she was here at all.
The before-test me would say, fab! Now you don’t have to drive her everywhere you can use that time to do other stuff, like hoover the stairs/read a book/ write a blog post/launch an award-winning ecommerce business from the kitchen table. That kind of thing.
The after-test me actually sits like a rabbit in the headlights not knowing how to deal with these little parcels of gifted minutes. Far easier to do none of the above and just pass the time tracking her location on the Find my Friends app.
I wonder if this is how CEOs of huge corporations feel when they retire? I have, effectively, been the CEO of my little family unit for 17 years and, as is the case with many of my friends, have run it much the same as I run my career. So when a third of the firm breaks free to start up alone it shakes the dynamic a bit.
It is not empty nest syndrome, there are few years ahead before that, thank God. It’s like the peri-menopause of empty nest, a little warning shot over the bows of things to come.
Of course, I still have Teen 2 at my disposal and you will be forgiven for feeling a bit sorry for her as she now bears the full brunt of my control freakery. Endless trips to and from ballet and gymnastics used to be silent affairs as she scrolled through Snapchat and I inwardly cliched about being an unpaid taxi.
Now I am relishing each trip, aware that soon these too will be things of the past. I’m chatting merrily like a proper Stepford mum, enjoying the time that I am still needed behind the wheel. Teen 2 is still scrolling through Snapchat in silence but to be fair, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
So, on the agenda for this month – (1) stop obsessing about the myriad of potential road traffic accidents that could occur on any given journey and (2) fill any new found time with productive activities of the novel writing/stair hoovering ilk.
Just let me check the BBC Live Travel Incidents website first.