Driving Parents to Shades of Grey

Posted on April 15, 2013

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caution sign

Good advice for parents and student drivers

I think God’s been poking at me the last day or so, getting me to notice (yet again) that time on the calendar is rushing by. You see, I caught the neighbour’s eldest son backing the family car out onto their driveway the other day. How could that be?! Last time I checked with his mom over the back fence, she was alluding to this son’s first high-school “relationship” and the awkwardness that naturally accompanies the teen years. Apparently, we have a driver-training pupil right next door.

The experience of putting our own children through driving education was something that contributed to a surge of grey hairs and worried absences when they finally ventured out on solo drives. But time soothes those rattled nerves, and these days both daughter and son are seasoned, responsible drivers. I’m sure that mom and dad next door are feeling the anxiety level increase and I expect to see them both with some new grey tinges before winter comes around. Going through that kind of transition will undoubtedly cause some stress on both sides, but it also reminded me of a cute anecdote I’d like to share with you:

A father passing by his son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed nicely made up and everything neat and tidy. Then he saw an envelope propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed “Dad”. With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

“Dear Dad — It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girl friend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and Mom.

I’ve been finding real passion with Poppy, and she is so nice. I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, her tight motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am. But it’s not only the passion, Dad, she’s pregnant.

Cell phone use in car

Using a cell phone while driving is a bad habit – don’t do it!

Poppy says that we are going to be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood, enough for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Poppy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it and trading it with the other people in the commune for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.

In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Poppy can get better; she sure deserves it!

Don’t worry, Dad, I’m 16 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I’m sure we’ll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren.

— Your son, Chad

Texting in car

If you must text, pull over!

P.S. — Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that’s in my desk drawer. I love you! Call when it’s safe for me to come home.”

So my advice to parents helping their offspring on the journey to adulthood is to remember to breathe occasionally, try not to lose your patience because you were once in their shoes, pray often and hard, and consider a good hair colouring job if things are too much to handle. Salon stylists just love grey denial.

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