May I see your identification, please…this ride doesn’t stop.

Recently, I’ve run into a lot of situations where I’ve had to card people while working at the Big Box Store. You wouldn’t believe what kinds of things you can’t buy in North Dakota until you are 18…some movies, cold medicines, spray paint. The list seems to be endless these days, and I find myself having to ask people for proof that they are old enough to purchase these items.

Very often, the ID’s that are shown to me are by people who were either born on the year I graduated from high school (20+ years ago), or were born the same year Oldest Son was born. It’s pretty bizarre that I am running into so many people who are just young enough that I could be their mother. Add to that the fact that I have several friends my age and younger who have grand children.

Needless to say it’s been weirding me out something fierce.

Today Older Son had his senior pictures taken (thank you, Brea!), and it was kind of surreal in a way I can’t even begin to describe. He’s really graduating from high school. Really. No take backs or do overs. The boy, er, young man, is getting ready to launch.


Please excuse me while I put on my crash helmet and strap in… I feel a little bit like I’m on a roller coaster, and the ride attendant has decided to give me an extended ride. I know this is just part of life, and I certainly remember being on Older Son’s end of things, but it is almost a little bit more jarring than I expected.  I’m betting this is normal and that a lot of parents have this issue. I think the strangest thing is that there is now no more road map. After graduation in May, the road map butts up against blank paper and then he has to start writing his own story from there.

Here’s the thing I know to be truth. There is no stopping. There is no Ground Hog Day scenario where I get to be Bill Murray and keep doing a day over until I get it right. There is no going around the block to make sure you take the turn you meant to take. The train has definitely pulled out of the station and I’m not going to be the conductor for very much longer.

I would be a bald-faced liar if I didn’t admit that there is some freedom for me in that. I shouldn’t feel guilty about that, but I do. I’m guessing that will pass and life will just keep going, just like it always does.

Pretty soon, Older Son will be purchasing things that will cause him to have his ID checked.  I haven’t been carded in a very long time, as I don’t color my hair to hide the silver. I figure I worked hard for those natural highlights…who am I to paint over what Nature gave me? It has the effect of letting everyone know that I am definitely old enough, for whatever. I guess if I’m old enough to have goodly sized silver streaks in my hair, I’m old enough to have a child who’s become a man and let him move on with his life. See how I talk myself into things? I’m very circular that way sometimes.

The good news is that it’ll be a small practice run for the whole Empty Nest Enchilada. I have a few years reprieve from that, as Younger Son won’t graduate until 2014.  And then what happens when Sparrow’s Nest holds just one sparrow in it again?

My life begins again.

The holding pattern evaporates and I get to reinvent my life. My road map will then butt up against a blank page, and I’ll get to start writing my own story again. It will be my turn.

I might even bump into a man who will be worth my time.  I’m pretty convinced that’s unlikely, but one never knows for sure.


Most days, two years feels like a small drop in a cosmic bucket, but there have been a few moments here and there where it seems like it’s going to be an eternity. Every now and again I get a small glimpse of what life  might be like when I can concentrate on myself and the things I’d like to do.  I hear people really do that. No joking. At least, that’s what I hear.

We’ll see if the rumors are true.

Until then I’ll keep on going, because this ride just doesn’t stop.


About Sparrow
I am a 49 years young and the mother of two amazing young men, who've grown up and left me an Empty-Nester. I write about what's going on in my little corner of the High Plains, or what happens to be crawling across my brain on a given day. Thank you so much for stopping by. Make yourself at home...through the magic of the internet, the coffee's always free and the doughnuts are fresh!

3 Responses to May I see your identification, please…this ride doesn’t stop.

  1. Thanks for all the great info here. I will be back to read some more soon.

  2. TheIdiotSpeaketh says:

    You are right, the ride never stops. Even after the kids have left home and you think the ride is over, then the real fun stuff begins…. strap yourself in Sparrow….. it’s a great ride though…. 🙂

  3. bing says:

    i think every parent knows consciously or subconsciously that the ride doesn’t stop. no, it wouldn’t. so brace yourselves. 😀

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