I just watched my youngest son almost get into an accident. It is an overcast, rainy afternoon and Carl was driving behind me. I glanced in the rearview mirror to check on him and, to my horror, he was no longer on the road. Carl hydroplaned while pulling out onto the street and lost control of the car. When I saw him, he was on the sidewalk on the far side of the road about to hit a pole. He swerved out of the way which threw him back into the street. For the longest half minute of my life, I watched Carl try to right the car as he jerkily swerved back and forth from one lane to the other. There was traffic both ways and I thought, “My baby is going to die.” I heard myself screaming, “Caaaaarl!”
My hands are still shaking as I type this. I apologize for the drama of this post, but I wanted to write while the feelings are still fresh. Thankfully, all traffic was able to move off the road to avoid hitting Carl. Thankfully, he was able to finally gain control and pull over into a parking lot. I have never felt more helpless than I did as I watched my “baby” fight for his life.
So now I’m overwhelmed with fear. I never ever, never ever (NEVER) want Carl to drive again. How am I supposed to keep from replaying that scene in my mind the next time he gets behind the wheel?
Somehow my guys aren’t nearly as shaken up. I drove straight to Neal’s office and sobbed on his shoulder. I said, “Carl could’ve been killed!” Neal said, “But he wasn’t.” I told Carl I had just finished praying for God to keep him safe when I saw him lose control of the car. He said, “And He did.” While I was shaking from head to toe and imagining what could have happened, Carl said, “I’m glad Dad’s car is okay!”
The truth of the matter is that it was probably a good thing ultimately. Carl just gained some valuable experience with driving, rain, hydroplaning, and overcorrecting. He’ll be better prepared if he’s ever in that kind of situation again. My mind knows that but my heart is protesting.
Honestly, this has been the hardest part of parenting for me. Losing control. My sons are grown and nearly grown. I’m watching them make decisions, make mistakes, sin, or flounder around as they try to figure out their own lives. What I want to do is have complete control again. They could get hurt! But I know they’re growing and gaining valuable experience. I know that they are capable and good. I also know that while they will never stop being my sons, they really belong to their heavenly Father. And He is always in perfect control.
“I know that You can do everything,
and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2).