I’ve now reached the age where I can appreciate the stress my mother went through when my three siblings and I reached our teenage years. When my children were babies, the biggest worry I had was making sure my legs were extended in front of the rocking chair to ensure the infant would roll gently down the slope and land softly on the carpet if I fell asleep rocking them. Then they moved into the next stage where all boo-boos were patched with a Power Rangers band-aid and the offer to cut off the injured part of the body. This little trick always assured me at least thirty minutes meal preparation time as the little crumb snatchers wouldn’t come near the kitchen where the knives were housed.
But eventually our children grew into teenagers where our worries, overnight, multiplied exponentially. During this stage of life when our offspring know everything, I worry that they will have boo-boos that can’t be patched with a band-aid. Boo-boos such as a teen pregnancy, involvement with drugs or alcohol, or posing in drag for the center-fold of their high school year book. Stuff like that.
For me, however, I have found that my greatest concern is their driving abilities. Since the time The Eldest first climbed behind the wheel, I began experiencing panic attacks whenever I heard the sound of sirens. Even when he was off at college, three hundred miles away, the site of an ambulance speeding by would give me heart palpitations. I realize my concerns are in no way rational given that I doubt the Bartlett, TN fire department would have been called to an accident site in Ellisville, MS involving my son. Then again, the fact that I had children to begin with provides proof that I’m not a very rational, or even sane, person. I now believe teenage driving is God’s way of reminding us that we are due for an EKG screening.
Just this morning, while standing in the kitchen wondering what I would write about in my blog, I was provided today’s subject by one of the crumb snatchers. A few minutes after departing for school, Sweet Pea walked back into the kitchen as devoid of color as an albino rabbit in a New England snow storm. Shaking like an earthquake hitting 6.0 on the Richter scale she, in extremely slow motion, uttered the words, “Mama……………………..I………………………just…………………………hit…………………….”
Her first four words immediately triggered the irrational button in my brain. She hit what? The elderly lady that walks her dog every morning, the kids waiting at the bus stop, the neighbors annoying yapping dog…..
“The Nephew’s truck!” she finally finished.
“Oh Sweetie, couldn’t you have at least hit something that isn’t also on our insurance policy?”
I wondered how in the world she managed to hit another vehicle in our household, but as we walked out to examine the damage, my answer was provided. It’s because The Nephew is an idiot to park his truck on the street directly opposite our driveway where a new teenaged driver was parked. I suddenly saw our insurance premiums increasing from $Enough-money-to-feed-an-entire-village-in-Africa.00 to $Enough-money-to-feed-the-entire-continent-of-Africa.00.
Luckily, the damage wasn’t severe. Just a little transferring of paint from one vehicle to another-we always DID try to teach the children to share-and a small dent in The Nephew’s truck. I brought Sweet Pea back inside and, once the color returned to her face, offered to drive her to school in an effort to keep our insurance premiums at a level slightly above the annual salary of the United States President. She said she was fine and would drive herself.
I helped her back out of the driveway while giving her signs like naval flight deck personnel bringing in a fighter plane on U.S aircraft carrier.
Chief Money Maker walked outside to take the garbage to the curb and, after Sweet Pea departed, I explained to him what happened. He responds, “Ugh, me have no coffee yet.”
Given that we still have soon to be licensed Wolfy, and Gummi Bear (already saving money for a 2004 Mustang), as well as several nephews up and coming in the ranks of new drivers, I called my cardiologist and scheduled quarterly EKG screenings for myself and Chief Money Maker.
And just now, as I sat here typing, I received a text from Sweet Pea explaining that a friend of hers also hit a vehicle in the school parking lot this morning. As I pull out my bottle of Xanax and down a pill with a swig of wine, I can’t help but wonder how these young drivers will fair against vehicles that are actually moving.
And now I have to go. Chief Money Maker just knocked on my office door and said, “Did you say Sweet Pea hit The Nephew’s truck this morning?” Apparently his coffee kicked in. I need to go add his cardiologist visits to his calendar.
© 2011 CThacker