I went for a drive with the twins the other day.

But I wasn’t in the driver’s seat. I was in the passenger’s seat, gripping the armrest and sweating and pushing an imaginary brake on my side of the car, all the while with a pasted awkward smile on my face trying to ACT LIKE EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL.

Which of course it wasn’t.

I have spent 16 years of their lives watching over them and buckling them into car seats and helping them up into the car and driving them to every known Chuck E Cheese on this planet.

And now?

Now I’m supposed to CALMLY sit beside them in a MOVING vehicle and act like driving around town with my teenage daughters is a thing?

I’m not sure I’m ready.

I’m not sure I’m okay with all of this.

I think I need a handbook.

And I’m not talking about the one from driver’s ed.

We spent this last week getting the game room upstairs ready for the new school year and as I fluffed the pillows and added new accents on the new built-in bookcases and hung signs and flowers on the wall…

…one thought just kept ringing around and around and around in my head.

When did the years get so short?

They used to take forever.

It would be Saint Patrick’s Day and you’d wait for 27 light-years to pass and then finally Thomas Jefferson’s birthday would roll around.

Halloween?

Thanksgiving?

Christmas?

Forget about it.  Those holidays seemed like it would take Captain Jean Luc Picard and the Starship Enterprise to reach them.

And now?

The years seem to speed by faster and faster at lightning speed….

….and I want to press the pause button and yell at them to stop.

I want to grab them by the tail and tell them I need an extra minute to catch my breath and adjust.

Adjust to contour make-up shopping with the twins.

Adjust to a driver’s license test that is just around the corner.

Adjust to taking cartoons off the channel rotation.

Adjust to baby steps turning into long-distance running.

All these thoughts and 10 billion more ran through my head as we prepared for another school year.

I looked at the twins in their bare feet and their messy buns and their smiles.

And I want to cheer.

And I want to cry.

And I want to close my eyes and blink and wish myself back to 2002.

And I want to close my eyes and blink and wish myself back to 2002.

When it was just the three of us and House Hunters on the television in this room at 4:00 in the morning.

When those two little tiny golden-haired, blue-eyed girls giggled and smiled and reached for my finger and looked at me like I had all the answers in the world.

I grabbed my camera and took a picture because I wanted to capture this moment.

I wanted to remember.

So that one day I could look at this picture and think of the time when getting ready for another school year was a thing.

They are getting ready to take on the world with four wheels that will take them wherever they want to go.

But just in case they still need me, I’ll be ready.

Ready to encourage.

Ready to listen.

Ready to explain.

Ready to share.

And I’ll always be here…

…just in case someone needs to go all 2002 and hold my hand.

PS Twinnies, I hope you fly.

Truly.

I do.

But can you make sure you buckle your seatbelt first?

Comments

  1. Image for Richella Parham Richella Parham

    Right?!? I hear you, mama! Seems like just last month I was teaching my firstborn to drive. And now, as of last week, he is a Naval Aviator with wings of gold. I pinned them on his chest myself. He can not only drive, he can fly a multi-million dollar airplane in defense of this country. I'm with you: please please PLEASE buckle your seatbelts, kids. Your moms want you to be safe!

  2. Image for Deedra Deedra

    What a beautiful post! You have such a gift with words and can hit on every emotion while making me laugh at the same time. Yesterday I buried my dad who was my spiritual mentor and the gentlest man I have known. I realized too that time goes much too fast. You have precious girls and they have a wonderful mama! Thanks for the post!!

  3. Image for Basia Minta Basia Minta

    My husband is having a hard time with his 16 year old daughter too!! (My step daughter) Your daughters are turning into beautiful young women and I'm sure you have been doing an amazing job!

  4. Image for Sydney85 Sydney85

    I still have to remind myself that our daughter is a grown woman and not my little girl! About teaching your daughters to drive. I thought it was best my husband taught our daughter because he has lots of patience. My husband and daughter had been out driving for over a month and I thought by now she would be doing okay and I would not panic. What a shock! My husband had been so nice to her that she did not know that she was driving terribly and could be a danger to herself and others. When I asked my husband why was he letting her drive badly he replied " I did not want to hurt her feelings". I explained to him that driving was a life or death situation and that without hurting her feelings you could still make sure she was driving well. From that day on I took over the driving lessons and I had my husband do the driving handbook revision. Having our daughter driving was the hardest thing for me to go through. My daughter drives well but there are so many others who are careless and this will always worry me. Good luck.

  5. Image for Brenda Brenda

    Buckle your seat belt and S L O W down! How can there be so much joy ( My baby's driving! ) And yet so much sadness ( My baby's DRIVING! )? My daughter is going school shopping with her children tomorrow! Her almost teenagers! When did that happen!

  6. Image for Sonya Sonya

    Love this KariAnne and I remember that day so well with my two older kids. Now I am getting ready to send my daughter, my mini me off to college 5.5 hours away😢. There are so many emotions and many things I hope she remembers while she is away from home. I only have a few precious weeks with her so off I go to take her dorm shopping. Time to decorate!!

  7. Image for Judy Judy

    My 3 children are all adults, with the baby being 35...close to 36, but reading your post brought all of those memories and fears back. I now have grandsons driving and I worry as each takes the wheel. As a little reminder when our youngest started to drive....we gave her a key chain that said, "don't drive faster then your guardian angel can fly" Actually it was a reminder to me that I needed to try to let go, because even when she wasn't under my watchful eye, she was being protected by our loving Lord! I really try to remember this every moment of every day.

  8. Image for JC JC

    Oh, I have felt these same things a decade ago with my daughter too! These are all normal Mama heart thoughts. When my daughter got into the driver's seat and pulled out of our driveway with a "thunk," still trying to navigate speed and slope, it was everything I could do to plaster a big smile on my face and a thumbs up to her! THAT letting go increased my prayer life a hundred fold! I'm so thankful that the "letting go" comes in stages, over time rather than all at once. It's hard, but it's healthy, and God gives lots of grace, my friend. Enjoy each moment and try not to think about how fast it is going, because that kinda robs you of the now. Big hugs for this school year ahead!

  9. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    My goodness.....time does fly 💜. What a wonderful post....we should all slow down and enjoy the moments. Beautiful pics of your young ladies!!!

  10. Image for Leslie Leslie

    I know I have been making jokes about the twins driving, but that's just my way of coping! If I didn't laugh I would cry! It's so scary having my three starting their new independent lives - the twins were supposed to stay little. They were the babies of Gran & Pa's 7 grandchildren! This, my favorite sister in law, is painful! It's now that we have to trust God!

  11. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    Oh Sweet Friend, my baby is only two years away. I’m scared and so sad it went so fast but so proud of what he’s become! I’m right there with you! Have a great day!

  12. Image for Alice Alice

    K-I feel your pain, my “baby” turns 17 tomorrow and I will have three in college this fall. Truly feeling time passing and wishing for a day or two of toddlers back frequently. Then I remember the reality of toddlers and I start picking up the water bottles, flip flops and general teenage debris and think this isn’t so bad after all! Have a good day!

  13. Image for PJ PJ

    I wrongly believed that once I retired life would slow down, but, instead, it has sped up. Now I find myself with a teenage grandson who is taller than I and who will be driving in another year and a half.. How did that happen?! Enjoy every minute of this crazy ride.

  14. Image for Linda Miller Linda Miller

    Beautiful post. And SO true! And now I am worrying about these same things with my grandchildren! Time...slow down! :-(

  15. Image for maureen maureen

    It goes by way too fast for sure! I think someone should come up with a fake brake for the passenger side of the car for moms who go through this! At least you don't have to deal with snowy roads like here in Michigan. On another note did you wrap the black plaid boxes with wrapping paper or find those somewhere? And did you make those beautiful paper flowers? Your decorating style is amazing!

  16. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    So well written and time does seem to fly way too fast so we just need to cherish each and every moment..One of my sons will be sending my first grandchild off to college and i just can't believe it. we had a family gathering and grandma had some tears, he came and gave me a big hug and said " Is this harder than when i left for college?" Memories are so precious, have a great day.

  17. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

    Maureen, I got the box at Hobby Lobby and I got the flowers at Hobby Lobby on clearance! Happy day friend! KariAnne

  18. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    I'm with ya, girl! There are twins that live across the street... their Mother is a quadriplegic and so I'm like a surrogate Mom... which I kinda like since I didn't have kids. I let the oldest use my car to get her provisional license last week and couple of days later she drove to NY!!! WOW... such fearlessness!!! Now, I'm helping the younger twin to acquire the hours needed to get HER provisional. Already, we nearly had a head on collision... YIKES!! TALK ABOUT BEING PETRIFIED!!!! 😱🥺😈☠️😡😰... Lol.. But, it feels great that can help these ladies in any way possible... which do... take them to school, work, girlie chats, etc... Your girls are lovely... You are a great Mom and shining example... to them... and to us.. 😘

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Denise, you rock! What a wonderful thing for you to do. KariAnne .... my 15 year old son was in driver's ed last fall. During his first time behind the wheel, he wasn't braking when he should have. His teacher said, "Just stop somewhere!" It's become a family joke. :)

  19. Image for TERESA GONZALES TERESA GONZALES

    Can relate to every word you wrote. When you look back those years will seem like a blink of time. It happens so fast and then the time speeds up even faster and faster......you have given your beautiful children so many beautiful memories :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Image for Yvette Yvette

    They grow up way too fast. 😢 As a mom of 3 grown boys, I miss it all. I enjoy them now, but I miss them being at home with me and seeing them all the time and getting to spend so much time with them. I miss being able to kiss all their hurts away. I. Cherish. Every. Single. Second. I. Get. With. Them. ♥️ And I know you do, too.

  21. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    Awww...they are such lovely girls. It really does go by so quickly...my two oldest GRANDCHILDREN just started driving. HOW did that happen? You are smart to make memories of every moment you can. Hugs to you, sweet friend...you are such a beautiful writer!

  22. Image for Kim S. Kim S.

    My oldest is 16. And he passed his drives test a couple of weeks ago. The first time he drove off by himself, I sat on the front porch and cried. Just yesterday he was driving around in his red Little Tikes car and now he is off by himself. I want to go back to 2003 - if you find a way how, let me know. And I thought parenting toddlers was hard. This is so much harder!

  23. Image for Jenn Jenn

    So beautifully stated! Sounds like we can all relate! My oldest is 16, he is taking his driving test next week to get his license, and my 15 year old is getting his permit......and I'm only 25!....what?

  24. Image for Amy Kaminski Amy Kaminski

    I couldn't agree with your post today more. I remember bawling as each of our children drove away for the first time by themselves. It's so hard. But then....like a relavation....I didn't have to drive them everywhere. No picking up at midnight. No dropping off for practice at 6AM. I felt like I had a little bit of me back. And as they grew older those little pieces came back to me bit by bit. My hubs and I got to spend time together almost renewing our relationship. It was great and still is. Now that they are all older with growing families of their own, guess what, they are around all the time and we have Sunday dinner together every Sunday(a house full!!) to catch up and stay close. You've done all the right things Karianne. Those twinnies will be by your side for a long long time .... because they WANT to. Blessings!

  25. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Bless you. You want to be positive and encouraging, then you get a glimpse in the car’s makeup mirror and see wild eyes and a smile through clenched teeth. That’s why you have a headache after each driving session - and why you’re so happy when their father decides it’s better for him to teach them than for you to be so stressed out. Experience speaking! Lol!! You’ve got this, friend, and God’s got ALL of you!

  26. Image for Sheri Sheri

    Beautiful post! You have such a gift of words! The days are long but oh the years are short. As I type this I’m holding my precious grandson in my arms?? Life goes by fast but the sweetness continues!

  27. Image for Deb Wostmann Deb Wostmann

    And then, just like that, they have children of their own! What, how can that be. Now I'm not just mom, but nana and the years and memories made flit along like a hummingbird in the most beautiful flower.

  28. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Oh..dont'cha worry Karianne! The older you get, the faster the time flies by! I hate it. One minute I was in my 20’s, and now I’m 60. Yet, I don’t feel like it. My twins, my babies ...just turned 30. But, I'm pretty sure you’re doing (and have done) a great job raising those kiddo's. In our minds they will always be our babies, but they do eventually grow up and become independent and we have to let them. They will be fine and so will you. 😘

  29. Image for Rose Rose

    OMGosh. I remember when our oldest started to drive (now 38) and I told her no eating in the car. I was afraid if she started to choke how would she do both drive & stop choking. She would always leave with an apple in her hand and I would tell her either eat it right now or put it back. She would give me that look and put it back. I know how you feel. This is another story. When she first got her license I would make her call me when she got to her destination, then when she would leave, then when she arrived at the next destination etc etc etc. She was really good about all of it. Thank God. You’ll be just fine. Just pray a lot. Much love, Rose

  30. Image for Kathy Kathy

    While they are learning to drive always start your instructions with "When you have an opportunity" . . . please change lanes or turn right, . .etc" We watched an accident by a young driver and knew exactly what the Mom in the passenger seat said "Change lanes" The girl changed lanes and sideswiped the car in the lane next to her cuz she reacted and didn't look! Good LUCK to you all!!!!

  31. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Oh Momma....I feel you. I found a picture of my daughter driving out with my son in the front seat. She had just gotten her license and wanted to take her little brother for ice cream to celebrate. So hard sitting there with a fake smile, waving as the tears try to catch your heart as it drives away from you...so you go, Momma. Take all the pictures you want.

  32. Image for Ange Ange

    Love how you styled the twinnies hang out area. I'm curious about the white dresser. Is it vintage? I didn't see it on the shop your home page.

  33. Image for Dee Dee

    Oh I totally know where you're coming from and time passes all too quickly and soon it slip through our fingers like grains of sand. These are the days, these are the days that we've been given right here and now, and your sweet girls are learning to fly and I know they'll fly beautifully because they have you both for parents, they are wonderful mature responsible girls and I say yes, absolutely slow down and buckle that seat belt!

  34. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Thank You for this touching and moving post. Your girls are such lovely young ladies. Just remember they will always be your babies. Good luck with the driving. Marilyn

  35. Image for PJ PJ

    I'm with you on this. Sometimes when I see a mom struggling with little ones, I say, "Etch this time in your mind. I'd give anything to have that time again and my kids are in their 20's". It goes by so very fast. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Try to chill, Momma Bear. I'm sure you have done an excellent job teaching them the best way to act as young women and they seem to be very responsible! And so darn cute. And so responsible. They'll be fine.. Stop worrying or it will turn your pretty blonde hair white! I'm sure they will continue to make you proud!!

  37. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    So the darling twins are ready to zoom, zoom? Here, hold my Cosmo. I’m on to the grandkids doing the same.. Honestly, don’t know which gave me the jitters more. My sneakers are getting shredded by slamming on the imaginary passenger side break, and dragging my foot to slow the carousel of life down a bit. Help! Neither is helping. And I can tell you the exact day I looked down at my arm and said “who the heck’s skin is that, and why does it look like crepe paper?”. Wouldn’t trade it all for a bushel of heirloom tomatoes. So buckle up, young mama - you will survive.

  38. Image for Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap

    As usual you captured what so many of us are thinking and feeling absolutely perfectly in this post. Just this morning my baby (8 years) informed me he wasn't actually a "baby", rather he was "all grown up"! Ha! I think if we were to check, hours are no longer 60 minutes and days are no longer 24 hours.....

  39. Image for Detra Coley Detra Coley

    Westleigh and Whitney, have a great school year, and drive safely! KariAnne, you've got this! A few tears maybe, but you will totally rock being mama of the year!

  40. Image for Sandi from the Cape Sandi from the Cape

    They are so adorable! I bet they are just as funny and smart as you are! Start bracing yourself now for graduation......going away to college (I know your boys are there), and moving out! It's tough but we somehow all get through it and find new ways to cope and adjust! Hang in there!

  41. Image for Pam Anderson Pam Anderson

    Believe it or not they will always need you. When they have a family of their own you will be very wise again.

  42. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Oh, how I wish to morph back to 2002! Just for a day, to hold that tiny human that relied on me solely for every happiness, while being my everything!

  43. Image for LISA LISA

    My heart stops everytime my sons (16) leaves the house with my daughter (14)…..I tell them my whole world is in their car! On a completely separate note....I love the nook you created! Can I ask where you got your loveseat and ottoman. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your style! Sic Em Bears!

  44. Image for Janet Janet

    Oh my goodness. I love when you write these posts about your kids. You make me smile, you make me cry, you take me back through the memories of my own kids. My daughter just turned 16 recently as well and I feel with each aching breath the clock counting down to the day she is no longer sleeping in her room where I can tiptoe in and kiss her sleeping sweet baby soft cheek. She is my baby and in just a few years will fly away. Thank you for sharing your story.

  45. Image for Ann C Ann C

    I remember when my daughter started first grade and I said to her, “when I was your age it felt like summer lasted as long as the school year, but now it goes by so fast” she started to cry. When I asked her why she said” when I’m your age there won’t be such a thing as summer” now she’s a grandma and I’m a great grandma! Who blinked?

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