« Where in the heck are all my commenters? | Main | Online coupons »

Clear the roads

The boy turned 14 last week, got his driving permit and a car. Yes, a car. I cannot tell you how many people have said "Why did you get him a car when he has no license yet??" Well, it's very simple. He cannot drive anything we currently own.

The Surburban is way too big and powerful for a kid to learn on. It's also got about 12 grand owed on it so no way. My car is on it's last legs and needs an ignition control module, a crankshaft positioning sensor, a part for the antilock brakes and an air conditioner compressor. I have to keep it running as long as I possibly can. Todd's truck is a manual transmission plus it's basically a two seater and seat #2 is full with of his spare clothes, work stuff and miscellaneous crap that a 150 mile per day commuter carries with them.

I've told him for years if he wants to learn how to drive, he has to get his own car. Not pick it out but actually get it. I don't think parents owe their kids a car. They will take better care of it if they pay for it themselves. They will also learn what it's like to make due with what you can afford.

What he could afford was an '82 Cutlass that needs a lot of little work done to it. He's just pleased as he can be with his great find. For a belated birthday present we bought the first round of necessities: steering wheel cover, oil and filter, carb cleaner, rubbing compound, fuel filter, air freshener, armorall and some other small things. Emily vacuumed it all out for him and Ben helped him wash it. I guess tomorrow we will all attack it with rubbing compound and see about getting the oxidized paint off. It's an excellent project car for him to learn about such things as oil changes, exhaust leaks and such. His dad and Todd both have experience working on older cars so hopefully there will be much male bonding over the next couple of years and, when he turns 16, he'll have a really good car that he's built himself.

I am terrified of this whole driving notion and have not seen him do it. His dad has and now Todd has. I believe I'll wait in the house where it's safe and let the brave men teach him.

Comments (3)

move over, friend. I'm hiding in the house with you. That's just plain skeery!!!

(says she whose grandson is old enough to start learning to drive, but who hasn't studied the permit test enough to pass - whew!)

Wait, they get permits at 14 out there??????????? That's crazy. Is that just for driving a tractor, or a real car?


You sound like a very smart woman. I found out several years after I had been driving why my sisters were laughing when my dad taught me to parallel park. He put two bales of hay on the street to represent two cars. He had me park between them. Everytime I went around the block to come back and park again, he had had them move the two bales a little closer together. They laughed harder everytime I parked. I was getting frustrated because it was getting harder instead of easier to park. Finally, dad told me he thought I understood the concept. When I took my driving test, I misunderstood where the examiner wanted me to park and I parked in the tightest spot on the block. He got out, scratched his head and told me that was the best job of parallel parking he had ever seen, especially for a 16 year old. Now, I can parallel park an ambulance, but I try not to do that in very small spaces.