My youngest daughter is going to register to take her drivers test. She is so excited, I am terrified. But not why you think. She will be a good driver, responsible and careful and even experienced drivers can’t do anything about the crazy drivers on the road. No, what made me stop and reflect was looking at her hands.
My daughter is petite, small boned and slender. She has the longest, thinnest fingers I have ever seen. Graceful, delicate little hands that have always slipped so easily into mine. Her hands write the smallest letters you can imagine, they tap at breakneck speed on her cell phone and they have trouble opening a bottle of water.
These are the hands that will very soon grab the steering wheel of a car and direct it into traffic. They will steer her this way and that to her destination. She will fill up with gas and use all her might to keep the lever down and allow the fuel to flow. Occasionally she may use those hands to wipe the dashboard down but I doubt it. Her hands are going to be too tired. Why?
Because of the SAT’s.
Every night she will be using those hands to study. Math examples that need to be figured out will require those fingers to start tapping a calculator. Essays need to be written and little circles need to be filled in. All in an effort to get into the college of her choice.
Within those little hands is the power that will chart the course for her future. They will one day, clap at her graduation, wear a wedding ring and wipe the tears away from the face of her own child.
For now, she is still my baby, and letting go is not easy.