Driving With The Daughter

Kate is driving. Finally, she’s gotten as good as a sixteen year old can/should be. The rest is just practice and experience (said the woman who just scraped the side of someone’s truck while attempting to parallel park…)

So what follows are moments with my sixteen year old:

Kate: Oh, wow, he cut in and there was no room. He shouldn’t have done that.

No, he shouldn’t have. Happens all the time. Gotta watch out for stupid people.

Kate: I mean, what if that car breaks?

Breaks? What kind of breaks? Like, breaks down? Runs out of gas? That’s the weirdest neurosis I’ve ever heard of. No one worries if the car in front of you on the highway is gonna break!

Kate: Mom. Brakes. I mean, applies the brake.

Oh. Yeah. That could happen.

Kate has driven us down a mountain from dance lessons (cha-cha, mi amigos), probably for 7 miles. Laughing, talking, enjoying life.

Kate: What’s that ticking sound?

No idea.

We drive another couple of miles.

Kate: What IS that sound?

It’s a bomb. No, no, small mice in the engine spinning… No. It’s a bomb.

We laugh. We cry. We smell burning rubber.

Pull over.

Err: The Emergency Brake.

(Calling husband): Can you drive a car that smells like this? 1


1 “Sure, but you’re not ever driving my car again.”

(Insert detailed rant on how the brakes were recently all replaced. And he doesn’t care that it’s state law — yeah, really — to use the emergency brake, if either of us ever applies it again…)


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