Teenage Wasteland

Now playing: “Analog Girl,” by Guy Clark.

“Ones and zeros, zeros and ones
She’ll have none of that virtual fun
She’s a real deal ol’ fashioned analog girl
In a digital world.”

My son Austin turned 15 in January. I’ve always kind of figured he got screwed by the birthday being so close to Christmas, but I think he’s OK with it. It gives him a chance to get that one thing he didn’t get for Christmas, sometimes at a bargain price.

When his birthday came this year, we celebrated as we usually do. He got gifts, we went out to a nice dinner. I think he enjoyed it (with Austin, as with most teens, it can be hard to tell). I thought I enjoyed it, too.

I was wrong. It was his 15th birthday. This month he started taking driver’s education at his high school. That scares me. He’s a good kid, but he’s a teenage boy. I remember when I was a teenage boy. I did a lot of stupid things, many of which I’ve never admitted to, some of which I never will. I came to terms a bit with the driver’s education this weekend. I offered Austin a chance to back the car out of the driveway and go to the end of the cul-de-sac. (It’s not a busy street, and there were no cars/kids in sight.)

How’d he do? Well, let’s just say he’s used to driving cars on the XBox 360, where you have to turn more aggressively than in real life. He’s got to get a feel for how light a touch he needs on the steering wheel, brakes and accelerator. But, really, he did OK, we made it to the end of the cul-de-sac without incident. I not so sure he thinks he did OK, though. (Let me explain that Austin likes to be the best at whatever he does.)  That was Saturday morning. I offered him the chance to do it again Sunday, and he turned me down. We’ll try again this weekend.

Maybe the fact that he still needed me helped me come to terms with the prospects of his driving. All I know is I felt better about it.

Until Monday night. He asked me to wake him up 15 minutes early Wednesday. I said sure, but Karen and I asked why? He wanted the extra time to shave.

So now I’ve got to deal with this.

I think I’ve already started getting over it though. I looked out the window this morning and noticed the grass/weeds were growing. Then I thought about the lawnmower and Austin. And I smiled. Maybe this growing up thing isn’t so bad after all.



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2 responses to “Teenage Wasteland

  1. marciapotter

    Take him to an empty parking lot (a school is a good choice now that stores stay open 24/7) and let him drive there. It’s a good place to practice parking in parking spaces without having to actually negotiate cars.

  2. The ArthurNator 2010

    That’s a good idea. We’ll do it. First I want to get him comfortable with all the controls.

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