Our Colicky Baby Is Driving

I remember, very vividly, a moment when my daughter was just four months old. She was colicky and refused to sleep through the night. I called my mother in tears, I said, “If she can sleep through the night, I can relax and stop worrying.” My sweet mother was very sympathetic but she stifled a laugh. She said, “Oh sweetie. She will sleep through the night but you will never stop worrying. One day she will get her license!”

You guys. 

It happened. 

I blinked and my tiny colicky baby got her license. 

As always, my mother was right. I’ve never known worry like I have at this moment. As I type this, Lola is driving herself to school ON A HIGHWAY WITH CARS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION AND LOOKING AT THEIR PHONES. I keep repeating to myself, “She’s a good driver. She’s ready for this. She’s a good driver.”

She IS ready. Our state requires 60 hours of supervised driving. She’s her mother’s daughter so she did 100. She is a better driver than some adults I know. But still, I think one of the hardest parts of parenting is celebrating the well-earned independence of our growing children while trying not to openly grieve the stage we’re leaving. 

Moments before the test, I smiled and gave her my best parking lot pep talk. Friends, you would have been so proud of me. I acted like I was so calm and confident. Inside? That’s another story. As she left the parking lot with the license examiner in the passenger seat I had to put on my sunglasses to hide my tears.  It’s all happening so fast. It’s such a cliche, I know, I know. 

But it was yesterday when I was pacing the floor with this child, just praying she’d sleep for three-hour stretches. 

Reframing Our Mindset

I needed to call a friend to help with this transition. And it just so happens that I have a friend who is a parenting coach who always knows the right thing to say. Dr. Hope Seidel has been a pediatrician for more than 20 years. About ten years into her career, she began to notice she was healing parents more than children. She is now a parenting coach offering regular parenting classes and 1:1 parent coaching in her practice, Parent with Hope.

Her words were so helpful. We invited her on this week’s podcast to help us all deal with these big transitions in parenting. For us, it’s Lola getting her license, but for you, it may be sending your baby to Kindergarten or celebrating a final senior prom. 

Dr. Seidel offered a mindset reframe that left me shooketh. She wants us all to parent from a place of sufficiency as opposed to scarcity. “If you are parenting from a scarcity mindset, we have expectations, judgment, and fear about what the future holds. But when we’re in “sufficiency” and we are radically committed to seeing it in that way, we are trusting and accepting and connected and empathic and compassionate. And when we’re parenting from that place, we see each of their stages as abundant and enough and wonderful.” She continued, “We can pay attention to the ending, but if we dwell on that we miss the beauty of the beginning.”

Dr. Seidel told me to honor my grief but not focus on it. There’s so much to celebrate in the present moment. Her words were so comforting and helped me realize the very best is still ahead. She had so many wise words and you can hear them all but listening to this week’s podcast. Check it out on a link below: