This post was reprinted with permission from the author, Lori Landau, originally published at New Jersey Mom's blog.

A few days ago you took me for a drive in our car. Just before you backed out of the garage, you spent a moment adjusting the seat and the mirrors so that it fit you. As you fiddled with the seat control, you probably weren't thinking about the fact that the ride ahead would require an adjustment for me too.

For sixteen years now, I have been the one in the driver's seat. I have wracked up hundreds of thousands of miles driving you to music lessons and football, marching band and school. I have driven you to friend's houses and museums, restaurants and recreation. I have always made sure you were strapped in, prepared for whatever we were doing. I have done whatever I could to keep you safe.

Now that you've gotten your permit, you (apparently) are now ready to assume that responsibility for yourself, to literally and figuratively take a new step in navigating your own life. And I want you to know a few things before you take the wheel.

When you were a child, I often asked you to consider "what happens next," before you made decisions. We practiced that thought process over and over and over and over in countless scenarios. I purposely taught you to think ahead so that the voice in your own head would take over for me. It was my plan that when you were making big decisions, you would have your own internal ability to reason things through responsibly.