Giving them independence

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Giving them independence
14
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 12:14pm

You'd think I'd be used to this since it's the 2nd time around!  DD is 24 and DS is almost 18 but he will be going into senior year.  He has been driving for about a year so I am used to that by now.  Now it's more going places by himself.  He drive around our area but he really doesn't know his way out of the suburbs.  We live in a suburb of Boston (about 30 mins. away or more with traffic) and the highway system is very confusing.  He doesn't know the routes & what goes where.  I told him to study a map so he'd have a better idea of things.  One day I took him for his last pediatric checkup (and they make parents go) but we took 2 cars because then he was going to his father's house.  I told him that right at the end of the street there was the ramp to the highway that he was supposed to go on to get to his dad's and somehow he missed that ramp (and I don't know how cause it was right there) and ended up going in the opposite direction and getting off the highway and since it was so complicated for me to try to explain to him how to get back in the right direction (since we were both on cell phone, which he's not supposed to do anyway) I ended up driving to where he was & showing him.  I think I am getting him a GPS for his birthday!

And this week he is going to Boston twice (once on Mon. and tonight again) for concerts.  On Mon. I told him how to take public transportation there and I ended up picking him up at the subway station near home--tonight he is parking at the subway.  Hopefully that will go ok.  So I am just getting used to him being able to go to Boston w/ friends and yesterday he says to me "Can I go to New York w/ S?" (his friend who is a girl--that's not an issue cause he's gay)  of course no details--um, where in NY?  She apparently has relatives who live in the good part of Brooklyn.  But since he hasn't been to NYC in 6 yrs or so, I'm sure he doesn't remember how big it is, he doesn't know that Brooklyn is some distance from Manhattan, he's so clueless--he says "oh we'll take the train" not knowing that it really costs about $50 each way to take the train--uh, more like the $15 bus I think.  So I'm not sure about that one.  then he adds "Oh and for our senior trip (what senior trip, I say, like that's required?) we want to go to California.  Hilarious!  And yet I know kids who are backpacking in Europe after high school.  I remember my cousin, who lives on Long Island, was nervous about her kids taking the train into NYC with their nanny and her DH saying "you know, there are kids who actually live and go to school in NYC."  So it must run in the family.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Mon, 07-29-2013 - 8:21pm

I'm laughing because your story is familiar. We have a GPS in the van DD drives, and it tells you out loud where to go, but she still went around a rotary 5 times because she kept missing the exit. The good news is that she doesn't call me. She just figures it out and then tells me later what an idiot she was. The bad news is that she has started using bad language in the car whenever she drives, a habit she'd like to break.

We also live in the Boston area, and moved to a larger town from a semi-rural one about 2 years ago, so she takes public transportation to work in Boston. We have to drive her to the T station because we don't want her paying the parking fees and tying up a car all day, but once she's on, she can find her way. It wasn't always easy. She has ended up taking the wrong train, forgetting her stop, or going in the wrong direction on the right train, but I figure this is part of the experience. Getting lost is a really good way to learn.

I think a lot of this is context. One of my friends lives in Dorchester and her D just graduated from Boston Latin. She took the T there from day one, and is basically a very savvy city girl. But for kids raised in the suburbs like mine, the knowledge is slower to come and that's fine.

If you think your son has the experience to deal with NY traffic AND he has a GPS, I'd consider letting him go. My D just got her license and I don't even like it when she drives in Boston and Cambridge, but maybe in a year or so, I'll feel differently.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-30-2013 - 1:50pm

I would never let him drive there--I've driven to NYC several times & I could handle it but I also have the geography in my mind.  I know it's straight down 95 until you get to the city, but it would definitely be too much for him.  If he goes, he'll be on the Chinese bus.  I have to ask him again if they are going because sometimes they get these ideas & then they never pan out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 07-31-2013 - 12:04pm

Ack! Not Fung Wah, or whatever the new version is! Every time I drive down the Pike, I see one of their buses broken down, with a wheel off or on fire or something. Make him splurge on Greyhound or Amtrak tickets!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 07-31-2013 - 1:03pm

I think they made Fung Way go out of business.  Funny, I work with mostly Chinese people and one of the girls here said that she would definitely not go on Fung Wah--not that safe.

Oh and after all this, last night I asked him if he was going to go or not and he said no, that he didn't want to spend the money.  Grrr!

 

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