Teenagers and Cars

I remember when I first got my license, I was SO excited to be driving without my parents in the car. It didn’t matter that I became the gopher for everything including taking my siblings to school, running to the store, and anything else my parents could come up with. I just loved driving.

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I had a 1985 Chevy Cavalier. The teeth on the little starter wheel thingy were worn down and some were missing, so starting it was always an adventure. Then about a year after getting my license I decided to make my car into a boat. It had rained for a couple of days and the ground just couldn’t hold all the water so naturally, there was ponding on the roads. For someone who had never driven with water on the road, I thought the best plan was to go faster through the water. The deeper the water, the more speed I needed.

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At one point on my drive home from school, a drainage ditch had flooded over the road and become a swiftly moving current. I gunned it. I made it about oh maybe halfway, and the car died. Then it started filling with water…and rocking… I panicked. My boyfriend was following me, and he of course stopped his car before the water, waded to me, and carried me back to his car. After we got home, my grandpa took “big blue”, his farm truck, out and rescued by car that had luckily not been swept away. We cleaned it out, put charcoal under the seats, changed the plugs, and she kept on running. I bought the car for $500, drove it for 4 years, ran over a metal burn barrel (another story for another post), made it into said boat, and still sold it for $750.

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Today, I have 3 children that drive. My oldest has his piece of crap motorcycle, and it is what it is. My second oldest has a 2004 (I think) Saturn SL, and he drives it like he stole it most of the time. My 3rd child, our daughter, has her permit and will have her license next month. She is getting my husband’s 2008 Ford Explorer. Hopefully, she’s a good driver.

My oldest moved to his dad’s when he was about 15, so I really don’t know how he is as far as being accountable and following rules. My second kid though has definitely made bad choice. Example: Monday night after work, he took a friend home (not allowed) and then decided he was too tired to come home so he stayed at said friend’s house (and only sent a text message which didn’t come through thanks to sleep mode on my husband’s phone…which he knew would happen). Then he was too much of a coward to actually speak to either myself of my husband yesterday, and today, he conveniently works before either of us will be home to talk to him. He is 24-ish days from graduation and is pushing the limits like crazy. I mean, I was excited to graduate, get out of the house and go to college, but I respected my parents enough that I didn’t push this hard. Now my sister…well that’s another story.

The bottom line is until they turn 18, the car, the priviledge to drive, and even their job is only happening because we say it is. Any and all of it can be taken away at any time. As long as they live with us, they follow our rules. Man, parenting can be hard.

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