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the daily driver / blog

Sooo your kid is turning 16...

As your son or daughter nears his monumental sixteenth birthday he has visions of freedom and a set of wheels. You've already started hiding your car keys, triple-checking you've locked your car doors, and doubled up on your heartburn medication.
Up to this point, you were able to keep an eye on him, confident you knew his every move, since he could only make it so far on his skateboard. Now the kid will be jet-setting all over town with nothing but an empty gas tank to stand in his way while you sit at home with a bottle of scotch in one hand and one of those squishy stress reliever balls in the other.
The sound of screeching brakes in your driveway and the smell of a burning clutch will never feel so good as your precious 2012 BMW returns home. Alright, fine, your son/daughter too, but mostly your BMW.
You've already serviced the car your son/daughter will be driving to meet all the DMV test vehicle requirements, so he's ready to go there.
You've spent countless hours behind the wheel with him teaching him all the tricks. From that, but mostly because of his experience playing video games, he can handle a car like Dale Earnhardt Jr.
You've purchased a cheat sheet to help him study, and he's passed every DMV practice test online.
He's ready to go. YOU aren't.
At your weakest point after weeks of begging, you are ultimately unable to withstand your son's/daughter's relentless attempts. Reluctantly, you schedule a test date and before you have the chance to visit your Doctor to help lower your blood pressure, the day arrives.
You hand him off to the test giver who points him in the right direction. You wait until your enthusiastic son/daughter skips excitedly out of ear' reach before you casually slip the test administrator a fifty-dollar bill and tell him there is more where that came from for a failed test. You told yourself you had accepted the inevitable, but clearly you are still holding on, like a new swimmer in the deep end sans water wings.
The grumpy administrator glares at you and tries to pretend he has too much pride to be bought, but still slips the fifty into his shirt pocket. You glance over at his desk and notice a pile of tests marked passed. Each one has a crisp twenty fastened by a lone paper clip and you realize the man has about as much morality as Lindsay Lohan out on a Friday night in Hollywood. It feels wrong to buy a failing grade, but this is your last ditch effort to keep a spanking new driver's license out of your son's/daughter's hands and keep your status as commander and chief of the penitentiary you call your house. There is less than one minute left in the game and you just called the goalie to the bench for an extra attacker.
Two grueling hours later your son/daughter comes back with a huge smile.
I did it! he shouts.
You feel your heart drop somewhere near your left knee and a feeling of malaise collects in your midsection.
Then something happens. Somewhere between your vitals returning to their natural levels and your son's/daughter's jovial celebration dance a feeling of warmth invades your body. Your son/daughter is growing up and even Doc from Back to the Future can't stop time. You're actually happy for him yet at the same time a little guilty. You glance up just in time to see the test administrator click the Complete My Order button on his computer. A new sports coat is headed his way in two to three business days courtesy of you.
You put your arm around your son/daughter, congratulate him, and walk outside. It is a brand new day for not only him, but for you. Your worst nightmare has become a reality, but you no longer care. You both smile.
Can I drive? he asks with excitement oozing out of his eyes, now the size of grapefruits.
You can't resist.
You give him the keys, not because you are now a submissive and sensitive mold of your former self, but because you realize that you only have two years to start hiding the cigarettes, dirty magazines and voter registration cards and the clock is ticking. It's never too early to start conjuring up your plan and it can start right now from the passenger seat.
You happily settle in as your son /daughtertakes the wheel. The light wind is blowing from the east cooling you both from the summer heat. It's just Father and son/daughter about to embark on the road of life together and things couldn't be better? 
You quickly swivel your head around to see a brand new Porsche's headlights smashed into smithereens.
Jaw agape, you look at your son/daughter.
I thought I was in drive, he exclaims.