I was driving home during evening rush hour after picking Carmen up from school on a seemingly uneventful weekday. She was in 10th grade. We were listening to music, moving at a fairly moderate speed and chatting away about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…It became quiet, but I didn’t really notice until she sheepishly said, “Mom, I have to tell you something…” and nothing prepared her for the hysteria that would take over me. I mean it wasn’t that She couldn’t date or have a boyfriend; it was more about having to confront that she wasn’t my chiquita anymore. Even though I kinda knew this as she had been in full blown puberty for some time. Needless to say, I lost my marbles and let go of the steering wheel, put my hands over my face and screamed, “Oh My God!” More times than God could tolerate. Somewhere in there I could hear Carmen’s drowned out screams, “Mom, grab the wheel! Mom, please, you need to drive! Mom…!” All while trying to steer the car. I imagine this was a very traumatic incident because Carmen didn’t attempt to get her driver’s licence ’til years later when she was 21.


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