Drivers Ed: Enough to drive ’ya nuts

By Jim Bucher

The rigors of child-rearing. Every day seems like a range of emotions from furious, frustrated, disappointed, discouraged and, lastly, proud. Too bad there’s not more of the latter.
My youngest is 16 and the owner of a temporary driver’s permit. If you’re not aware, “temps” means she can drive legally with me in the passenger seat.

So far, so good (albeit a few more grey hairs).

Now, if you will, let’s harken back to a simpler time when yours truly went through the same drill—and for you wags out there, yes, we did have automobiles back then.

Things are a little foggy because it was a while ago, and I’m sure one of my awesome Dayton City Paper devoted readers will correct me, but I’m thinking we had the option of taking a drivers course or going it alone with your parents.

Never set foot in one of those drivers ed cars with the additional foot pedals on the right for the instructor, you know in case of DEFCON 5.

Proud to say my pops taught me and, funny, he started getting grey hairs, too—but I digress.

My dad was the coolest. He let me pull the car in the garage when I was a wee lad of 7 or 8. Of course, sitting on his lap because it was a tad bit difficult to reach the pedals.

Skip now to my 16th birthday, and I was off and running, or rather driving. Practice, practice, practice and like many moms and dads back then, working on parallel parking with the help of a few traffic cones in the University of Dayton Arena parking lot. It’s where I took my oldest and now my youngest. Wow, if that lot could talk. Wonder how many cones gave the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good?

As a sophomore in high school, I took the classroom stuff, and then my parents signed an honor system form stating you and your child completed X amount of hours behind the wheel.

So, here I am, ripe old age of 16 ½ and a fully licensed vehicle operator in the state of Ohio. Look out my fellow drivers. But beforehand, I pushed hard for my license. You know the “hey, mom and dad, just think: I can run errands to the grocery, the pharmacy to get dad hair color, whatever you need.”

Of course, none of that happened because once you get that little plastic card with a terrible picture of yourself, there’s no looking back. Grocery, what’s that?

Again, I was fortunate enough to have the coolest parents EVER. It wasn’t a month after I was legal they gave their teenage son, reluctantly I might add, the OK to drive to the suburbs of Detroit for a visit with one of my buddy’s older brothers.

Yep, myself and two younger friends, road tripping to Motown, but under one condition: I had to stop at the two rest areas between here and there and check in via pay phone. For readers under 25, this was a telephone with a cord and a coin slot to deposit change to make a call, long distance extra.
Now, ask me if I’d let my 16-year-old do the same today. Well, of course, when she’s 25!

Meanwhile, with my daughter, we’ve had stress-free training. Oh, there were a couple of weird lane changes, peeling the orange, as they say (which means going through an intersection with the traffic light changing between yellow and red, hence orange) and a near miss sorta side swipe maneuver, which would make an Indy car driver proud.

By the way, parent’s out there experiencing the joys of a young driver and his or her own car, keep in mind it will always cost you something.

Let’s see…

Plates, driver’s license and automobile insurance. The fun begins when you find out how much it will set you back for a teen driver. Holy cow!

I need a second mortgage; you may need that, too. However, my youngest is becoming self-sufficient with her part time job, which will take care of gas, oil changes and, hopefully, some of the car insurance. And look how I’ll save in the long run. No more cab rides to high school sporting events, choir concerts, trips to the mall, fast food runs and, of course, ALL the grocery shopping.

That’s right. She will do the market runs like I did. Oh wait, nevermind.

Cheers,

Buch

For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

 

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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