punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Happy Brithday, Kiddo.

I used to be sickened by some of my McLean peers while I was growing up. I wasn't so much jealous as I was angered by them taking stuff for granted. Half of my peers had a car that was considered "a luxury model." Some were sporty, some were status symbols, and some were just extravagant. Almost all the kids my age had their own car by age 16. It was pretty much expected. Among my friends, it was another story, but we were all intellectual misfits with odd parents anyway. Kate at least got a used Datsun miniwagon when she was 17, although she never drove it.

But, on the other hand, my father forbid me to drive. He forbid my mother, too, although she kept renewing her license every four years. In my case, my father told me he didn't want me "considering taking one of his vehicles," (he always considered me and my friends to be thieves) and my mother also added "it will cost too much for insurance." At the time, my father had three cars: a classic '66 T-bird, and two Lincoln Continentals, which he lovingly cared for the entire time I have ever known him. But only he drove them. That's why I am always suspicious of my father's story that he taught his father how to drive. But there you go.

So last night, in Chuck-ee-Cheese of all places, anyarm, fuzzywhuze, takayla, Chance, and I gave CR his birthday present: a car.

I was happy and proud to give my son a car. Yes, he's only 15, and yes, we won't be able to learn to drive for a few months, but the car gives him something to work towards. We gave him our old, reliable, but recently unused bottlefly green Saturn Wagon, the last of the SW2 models made. The stipulation was that he had to get it working again (it's been dormant for a while, probably needs a new alternator/battery), pay for the gas, tags, and repairs himself (before he gets a job, we're having him do a lot of housework, which is a bonus for me), and learn how to drive it.

The wagon is pretty safe, won't go very fast (okay, won't go over 85), and the resale value on it is not worth it, really. And it runs well (staring it, however, is a problem). It only has 93k miles on it, which for a Saturn is like hitting middle age. I have friends with Saturns that have over 200k miles on it. So it should last him through college, barring any accidents or the engine crapping out.

It's not a new BMW... but it will be a good start to a new life for him.
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