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AT WIT’S END: Teenage Driver and the Parent

By: Erma Bombeck

Having a new teenage driver in the family does strange things to parents… besides turning them in to pedestrians.  It throws some of them into premature senility and has others writing check to God, bribing him to strike the battery dead.

My husband and I decided long ago we would not succumb to the hysteria that overtakes most parents the moment their teenager takes the family car out for the evening.

As I told my husband, “It certainly is convenient having our son drive so that we don’t have to dig out & run him across town.”

“It certainly is,” he said.  “All we have to do is sit here & relax in our own home & wait for the police to call.”

“That’s right”, I sighed.  “I think a lot of parents overreact. After all, this is what maturity is all about.  This is the responsibility that goes with growing up.  By the way, did you remind him to turn off the lights, put the car in park & take the keys out when he left?”

“I pinned a note to his coat.”

“Good.  You know it seems like only yesterday when he had his little cars on the floor going vroom… vroooommmm… vroooommmmm, remember that?”

“I certainly do,” he chuckled.  “He smashed four unbreakable, non-destructible, right-built, sturdy, childproof, Tonka trucks in four days.  But… a boy has to learn.”

“You bet,” he said.  “You show me a car that doesn’t have a hole in the floorboard on the passenger side and I’ll show you a parent who has never driving with his teenager.”

“It certainly is great not having to worry about them anymore.  I’m going to bed.”  “You are in bed,” said my husband.  “It’s 12:30.”

“Oh.  I was talking & I guess I just keep myself awake.  Did you hear a motor?”

“No.  I just swallowed a button off my pajamas.”

“Actually” I giggled, “having a teenage driver has brought us close together.  We haven’t burnt candles and prayed together in years.”

In the driveway, we heard four tires screech to a halt. “AMEN,” we said in unison.