On The Road Again, By Herself

My daughter set out on her first road trip today. She is driving from Salt Lake to Boise with her cousin to pick up her other cousin. How did she get old enough to go on a road trip without me? But more importantly, why do I feel so vulnerable and helpless?

We took her car and got the tires rotated, filled the tank with gas, stopped and got drinks and snacks for the ride. Once we were home we checked and filled all the fluids in her car and loaded it up. The last thing she put in was her baby blanket, even at eighteen she still won’t leave home without it. I made sure she had her insurance information and the number for our insurance company’s roadside assistance. Then I showed her where the spare tire is.

Then she left. A million and one scenarios went through my head. What if they got a flat? What if the car broke down? What if they ran out of gas? Sometimes being a single mother makes me feel like I am not….enough. I don’t know how else to explain it. I guess it’s my own insecurities but I worry that if something were to happen I wouldn’t be able to help her. It makes me feel alone, I feel like if I had a husband and something went wrong he would miraculously know what to do and how to solve the problem.

I know that’s not true, but I can’t help but feel a little insecure. At the same time I’m proud of the strides I’ve made as a single mother, and the things I’ve been able to teach my daughter. I taught her how to get her car ready for a road trip, something that would typically be a father’s job. She knows how to check and fill the fluids in her car. She knows who to call if she needs help.

I was able to give her money for an emergency but more importantly, she was prepared for an emergency. She told me before she left that she had money in the bank in case something happened. I guess I haven’t done too bad being her sole parental influence. We’ve gone on enough road trips together that she knows how to prepare for one. I couldn’t be prouder.