Snapshot: My heart can't take it.

Aaagh! The oldest girl is driving! Legally! People -- this traumatizes me, but not for the reason you think. The child really is an excellent driver, although she would not appreciate the "Rainman" reference.

tangent: Do you watch "Bones?" My family loves it, including the oldest girl -- who turns out to be somewhat Bones-like herself, in that she is brilliant and very, very literal. We had to spend quite some time explaining to her why it is funny when Bones informs Booth that she is "an excellent driver" and he responds, "back off, Rainman."

But she loves to drive, and now that she has a learner's permit she pesters us constantly to let her drive -- to church, to dance class, to softball practice, to the grocery store. There was never a girl more anxious to get her license and stop feeling like she is at the mercy of a family of people who view a start time more as a suggestion than a requirement. We do drive her crazy.

This is in complete contrast to the tall boy, whose philosophy about driving seems to be summed up this way: "I have a ride." He really does not appear to want his license at all, especially now that college looms ever closer; he knows that beginning in August he will live on a campus where first year students are not allowed to have a car -- and where the subway will take him wherever he wants to go. Whatever -- I mentally thank him every time I pay my car insurance bill.

But the driving girl is testing her wings, and yearns for independence -- which will be one step closer with that driver's license. She's thrilled to be growing up. And that's what traumatizes me.