Drive, He Said

“Dad, when are you going to take me out driving?”

My son is 14-years-old. I casually mentioned once that I should get him behind the wheel for some training. Since then he asks when we’re going out about once a week or more.

“I don’t know. We’ll get around to it.”

He pushed the newspaper across the table. “Look! Here’s a guy that was teaching his nine-year-old to drive. If a nine-year-old can go out driving, why can’t I do it?”

I looked at the story in the Times Union:

An Albany man, whom police say was drunk, was arrested at Crossgates Mall Sunday afternoon after he allegedly allowed his 9-year-old daughter to drive the family minivan.

“So.. when are we going out?”

“Well, it says here that the cops think the man was drinking. This doesn’t sound like the usual sort of driving lesson.”

“So you won’t take me out?”

“Look, I’d like to, but I think it’s technically against the law before you have a learner’s permit. You can’t get that until you’re 16. ”

He thought for a second. “You don’t want me to end up like Alex, do you?”

His older brother was not exactly a gifted driver, and I think he would have benefited from some early practice.┬áThe truth is that I hate the idea of my kids driving. His right of passage is my nightmare, but there’s a part of me willing to break the law so that he can get as much experience as possible before flying solo.

If we do go out for some underage driving, don’t expect me to admit it here. That’s between me and him, unless something bad happens and we end up in the newspaper. I certainly wouldn’t take him to do it at Crossgates.

“OK. Maybe this Summer.”

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