Opinion

Calling all cars, James turned 16

There are many critical issues facing the Valley this week, and a new one hit the list sometime this week.

My son, James, turned 16 on Monday and the roads will never be the same.

We all remember the freedom a driver's license provided. It was the first step in not always hanging out with the parents. In hindsight I am sure my folks were nervous about my driving, but I already had purchased my car by the time I hit my 16th birthday. In hindsight it's also a realization to parents that they are losing a bit of control, or maybe losing the reason to go watch the ball game or event with their child. I guess the challenge will be to go even if it means two family vehicles are at the event. In reality it will mean three vehicles since we never can coordinate the parental driving schedule.

I am guessing another key is the trust instilled in the kids over the years. I trust them to do the right thing, but my mind will always worry about a bad situation. That's a trait from my mother, to worry about stuff, even stupid stuff that doesn't really matter. I can attribute most of my gray hair to worrying about stupid stuff thanks to her. Talk to her and she'll likely claim her gray hair is because of me.

Another important thing about a kid getting their license is to make sure they can call you at any time of the night or day to bail them out of a situation. I hope they both know that their parents are always just a phone call away.

On a more serious note, and one that is sure to give James reason to be a little miffed at Dad, is this: He will be driving a black Honda Accord EX, 1991, two door with tan interior. His truck, the subject of a previous editorial, is not quite finished. I will be sure to write an editorial again when it is on the road.

If you pull him over, read him the riot act and know that he will again hear it at home. His ability to drive depends on many things but the most important is common sense, oh, and grades.

I've already told the Snoqualmie Police and a few of my Washington State Patrol friends to keep their eyes peeled. I thought about arranging for James to spend a bit of time in a Snoqualmie jail cell just to make sure he understands what that is all about, but somebody told me DSHS might want to talk about that.

I'm sure the first thing out of his mouth when he reads this will be "Dad, it really stinks that you work for a newspaper." Others reading this may agree but go easy on me, I'm a parent of a 16-year-old.

Drive safe!

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