Go ahead tear it up (Post #127) 2/5/2009

I know you have felt like this at least once when you were driving. This last weekend I was once again reminded that kids and luxury automobiles do not mix. Sunday was the Alameda Bowl II at our church. It is a “friendly” game of flag football between the staff of the church and the youth group. Apparently it also is between the staff and ANYONE the youth group can find to play. This year the kids chose to invite several prominent members of the Norman North High School football team, several of which were Division I college recruits. It didn’t matter as the youth group lost once again.

Instead of playing football, my children chose to sit in RovErica’s Range Rover and “watch” the game. What they actually did was play with all the knobs and switches in the Range Rover and listen to the radio loudly. From this we had a dead battery, a broken seat adjustment switch and a broken air register. Was there any remorse? None that I could detect. I’m sure I can fix the seat switch and I’m pretty sure Drew said the air register was just “punched down into the vent”. I hope that really is the case.

what does a parent have to do to get it into our children’s heads to “take care of the things you are given”? The immediate answer is “Are you stupid, why did you give your kids have a Range Rover Classic in the first place?”
That’s a valid question. But it doesn’t address the original question. Everyone one of you have seen this phenomenon. Some rich kid gets the car of his/her dreams and proceeds to trash it or worse wrap it around a tree. I have been treated to the classic cliche’d story in every year my kids have attended high school. Rich kid gets a brand new Mercedes when they get their license. With in a month they have another new Mercedes because they “totalled” the other one. Why does this happen? What is the magic phrase or lesson that most parents fail to convey to their children that prevents them from destroying the things they have?

In my case, the problem may be that I let RovErica drive what would lovingly be called a restoration on wheels. Giving a “classic” car to a kid is an automatic recipe for disaster. Unless that kid was made to get their hands dirty they do not appreciate all the work it takes to keep a car that needs 2500$(US) a year of work done to keep it on the road.

When I was a kid, if I wanted to drive my car, (that I bought) I had to make sure it ran. If it was broken I had to fix it. If a part failed I had to buy the replacement. Or at a minimum ask for help if it was above my head. I did not do that with my kids. I don’t think very many fathers require their daughters to work on their own cars. I know there are exceptions, but as a general rule the gals go without basic automotive knowledge.

My girls can jump start their own cars. My girls can change their own flat tires. THEY DON’T change them, they call dad, but I know both of them can change their own tires if required. They both know that cars require oil changes. Erica waits for dad to do it for her, my oldest gets her oil changed every once in a while in her cars. Both of my girls know there are fluids that have to be checked and levels have to be maintained. My oldest just buys new cars when the old ones start to have troubles. My youngest doesn’t check her fluids, EVER.

I now have my son, Diet Mountain Drew, learning to drive. In six or seven more months my niece will be learning to drive. I have a third and fourth chance to change the culture and require them to maintain their own automobiles. But will I? I think I have to in both cases.

My son is well, a male, someday to be a man, and if the psychologist are right he will marry someone like his mom. My wife, their mother, knows absolutely NOTHING about cars. I say nothing, she knows they need gas and you use a key to “start” them. Beyond that, how the car gets her to work is purely magic. You see her daddy didn’t require her to know any of that.

So with Diet Mtn Drew and the Jazz it will be imperative that they know how the cars work. Drew for his “manhood factor” and because Jazz thrives on independence. She will someday be on her own and her special circumstance will require she be even more independent than my oldest turned out to be.

Which automobiles will the last two spawn drive? That is still to be determined. Diet Mtn Drew is contemplating the Disco for his car, but who knows.

So wish me luck, as I train the next two drivers to appreciate the automobiles.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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