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To those parents who have teens who are about to drive cars December 10, 2006

Posted by daveintexas in Work and Life and Love.

You are about to learn just how not in control you are.

There is nothing worse than watching your child get behind the wheel and drive away.

Perhaps getting eaten by a walrus.  I’m not sure.

I just know watching your child drive off sucks.

You can’t protect them anymore.  You can’t take a bullet for them.  They’re on their own, and that’s hard to deal with.

5 years ago, on a cool December night, I was helping a friend of mine put together one of those basketball things.  I had done one a couple of years earlier for my eldest and I knew how to do it.  We had finished a couple of beers, and he blinked and said “oh crap, I gotta put that together for ____”.

I said, “no big… I know how it works, let’s knock it out”.

And while we were assembling it, we heard a car off in the distance.  Tires squealed.  Shrieked.  Then a crash.

He jumped in his truck to go check it out (he used to be a cop).  I grabbed a fire extinguisher when we smelled smoke, and went after him.

Maybe 3 minutes.

When we got there, a car was stuck in the trees and engulfed in flames. 

A sixteen year old boy was in there. 

I hope and I believe he died in the impact.  I really don’t know.

The officers guessed he was driving about 90 miles per hour, down a two lane road, hit a rise, and launched his car across the road.  He had just gotten his license, that week. 

Later the shrine appeared..  a small white cross.  Some pictures, newer ones with high school friends.

Older ones of a younger child.

A stuffed toy.  Notes from his young friends.  Unbearable sorrow.

I took my child there the day before she got her license.  I showed it to her, I let her look at his picture..  I told her the story.  And then I took her chin and pulled it toward my face, and I said “Sweetie, you are not bulletproof, and you are not invisible.  This boy died because he did something stupid, he drove way too fast, and he lost control, and he died.

He was a month older than you”.

I asked her “please don’t ever do this”.

It’s hard to believe, but your fifteen year old kid may not hang on your every word.

They might pay attention to something like this.  I hope so.

Teach your children well.


1. geoff - December 10, 2006

I dread being a teen parent. And a driving teen parent. And a dating teen parent.

I hope I toughen up by the time it happens.

2. Blue Collar Republican » Blog Archive » Blog Burst December 11, 2006 - December 11, 2006

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3. Mr Minority - December 11, 2006

I am a parent of 2 boys, and their driving scares the crap out of me.

I think they learned their lesson and how close death is when you drive, when 3 years ago they rolled my truck on New Years morning on the way to work. The oldest one was driving (hit a patch of black ice), and had to bust out the window to get out (as it flipped twice and smashed the cab down level with the hood and bed), and it took the fire dept. 2 hours to cut the other one out of the truck. They both were alive, no broken bones, just minor cuts and stitches. I woke them up to the realization that they are immune to death. Even though they have both been in accidents since, they were not the cause of it (in fact my oldest is recovering from a scattered kneecap because someone cut in front of him).

My wife just hates late night phone calls because she always figures that the boys got in another accident.

4. kevlarchick - December 11, 2006

Yep I’m dreading that scene. My boy gets his temps (he is eligible anyway) this month.

I saw this funny line in a movie: loser teenage boy arrives to pick up his date. The girl’s father answers the door, takes one look at the boy and says “have her home by midnight. I have a .38 and a shovel and I doubt anyone would miss you.”

5. Christopher Taylor - December 11, 2006

In all honesty I am afraid of driving personally, I hate it.

That line is from Clueless, some great lines in that one. Whatever happened to Alicia Silverstone? Last thing I saw her in was Blast from the Past. Great flick.

6. Dave in Texas - December 12, 2006

KC, Bill Engvall added “I’ll put you with the other two…. they’ll never find you”.

7. semitough - December 17, 2006

Stock up on antacids and keep aspirin handy in the event of chest pains. Eventually you’ll get used to it and “embrace the burn” that you feel each time she drives away from the house. Ours got her license in August, got her first speeding ticket in September, and was a passenger in a car involved in a serious accident in November. The nice folks here at the state nervous hospital are giving me a few hours a day on the computer now that they have the meds dialled in. Good luck amigo! :-)

8. mesablue - December 22, 2006

My daughter has wrecked three cars in her first two years of driving. The ex continues to help her buy new cars so she won’t have to drive her around. She’s off at college now — keeping fingers crossed.

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