Sometimes, Rachel is a comedian and doesn’t even know it. She announced to me that she is starting the second semester of her freshman year. She then proceeded to tell me that next year she would be a 10th grader and then 11th and then the 12th. “Just seven semesters and I go to college mommy!” I said that was correct. She went on to remind me that if she doesn’t get a scholarship to KU, she will go to Arkansas. “I know you and daddy will be sad if I don’t go to Arkansas.” I told her that we did love the University of Arkansas but we wanted her to be happy and if she got a scholarship to KU, we would be happy for her to go there. Then, she said, “Don’t cry when I go to college mom. It will be okay.” I actually giggled and told her that I would probably cry when she went to college, but it would be okay.
Then, she started talking about turning 16.”I am almost 16 mommy. I can get my driver’s license.” All of her friends are talking about their driver’s test and driver’s license so of course she would be. She reminded me that she wants a pink car. I don’t remember if it is a Jeep or what these days. I told her once she need to work for Mary Kay and earn a pink car. I told her my parents didn’t buy me a car when I turned 16. Her response, “Why not?” I just gave her a look on that one. One of my friends told her son with Down syndrome that the driver’s manual was online. She told him to study and when he could pass that, they would see about the license. He may surprise her. I think I’ll try that on Rachel. She may surprise me.
We are but a little over two years away from being a legal adult. Like everyone with an almost 16-year-old there is so much to think about and so much to do. Those who have gone before me have warned me about these days. The rites of passage that are assumed for many but may or may not be reality for Rachel. The challenges for Rachel and for us with all of this.
As I ponder that baby Rachel is going to turn 16 this year, I am a bit of a melancholy mood. Not sad because I want her to grow up and achieve her dreams and get that pink house and pink car. Just thinking a lot. I’ll keep you posted.