Calling all cars, James turned 16

Record Editorial

  • Friday, October 3, 2008 3:31am
  • Opinion

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!

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
For some state lawmakers, short session is all about re-election | Roegner

The Washington state Legislature opened on Jan. 10 against a backdrop of… Continue reading

Robert Whale can be reached at
Good night, John Boy, from another generation | Whale

When I was growing up in the 1970s, like many others I… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Greg Asimakoupoulos
Jan. 6, 2021: A date that will live in infamy | Guest column

Jan. 6, 2021. Sadly, for most Americans, that date has become one… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Are we driving more recklessly during the pandemic? | Roegner

Have you noticed — pre-snowstorm — more people taking chances with reckless… Continue reading

Robert Whale can be reached at
Don’t fool yourself: COVID’s tentacles are long enough to reach even you | Robert Whale

From March 2020 until recently, it seemed to me that COVID-19 always… Continue reading

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.
The cruising altitude of Christmas | Guest column

While flying back east over the holidays to speak at a church,… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Violent crime moves local mayors to action | Roegner

It is Christmas throughout the region, and Jim Ferrell, Nancy Backus, Dana… Continue reading

Sean Su (left), a first-generation Taiwanese American activist, was born to Taiwanese immigrants who escaped to the U.S. in the 1980s. Courtesy photo
Understanding the Taiwanese perspective | Guest column

Being Asian in America is a complex experience primarily because the term… Continue reading