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Teen Drivers Are Out There Amongst Us And it’s not cheap

Published in the August 2022 Issue Published online: Aug 16, 2022 Lifestyle Katie Burke
Viewed 750 time(s)



BY KATIE BURKE

THE STATE OF IDAHO has lost its dang mind. Your kid turns 14 1/2 and they’re like, “Yes, give this child a driver’s license. It doesn’t matter that their brains are still developing. They are ready to share the roads with the rest of society.” And that’s how I ended up with a teenage driver with an almost full license at 15. I must be honest, I’m as shocked as you are. Especially because as part of her final exam with her driver’s education instructor, she had to come pick me up so I could put my own life where my mouth is. There’s something pretty chilling about being in the backseat of a 2,000-pound vehicle with no personal control over the outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so proud when she passed. I was less proud when l had to sit in the back as a hostage when this convo went down.
     Instructor: Why did you stop so far back? Checking out that
     guy in the other car?
     Izzy: That’s not why I stopped. He was like 60. I am
     considering marrying for money but 60 seems like pushing
     it. Amiright?
     Instructor: Be careful what you say about 60-year-olds. I’m
     one of them.
     Izzy: Interesting. Are you rich?

This is the point where I wanted to crawl under the seat and die. Death seemed like a valid option since I was in a vehicle with an unlicensed teenage girl, but I have other children I need to keep living for. I was thinking, “Where does this kid get this mouth?” when I realized I didn’t need to look much further than a mirror. That’s the problem with raising kids. You pour so much of yourself into your offspring that, before you know it, they start regurgitating your teenage self right back to you. It’s a terrible system.

Instead, I gave her seat and a sharp kick when we were at a complete stop and this seemed to get her attention. I mean, we may talk like that when we are alone in our house but social norms dictate that we carry ourselves with way more fakery when we are among the public. In other words, as far as anyone knows, we are a nice and normal family. It seems that in moments of high stress, the façade does show a few cracks. But don’t worry, it’s only a 30% joke when we talk about marrying for money. Izzy did end up passing that driving test, then the test with the state driver and the written test at the DMV. She is now licensed to drive during daylight hours. She’s a pretty good driver but she lacks experience, which means that I have to just pray it over her. It’s a whole thing. I also have the privilege of paying an extra three figures a month in car insurance. It’s a win/win. Wait, no. It’s a win for her and a complete loss for me.

Except for when she picks up her sister from school. Don’t get me wrong, she still charges me for gas when this happens, but I guess I should still be grateful? I’m confused, but it’s seems to make sense
to her. I mean, she uses the car I paid for with the insurance that I also pay for but any other errands I may need help with still fall on me to pay for gas as well.

Make it make sense.

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