Sons and Cars

There are many days when I do not understand my youngest son — as, I’m sure, there are many days when he doesn’t understand me. (Well, I don’t know — he understands everything, so he may be ahead in the co-understanding race.) But, over the past few days, I’ve been a Svengali when it comes to what is top-of-mind for him: a car of his own.

I remember sharing the family car when I was a teenager (note: THE family car), and I remember how badly I wanted my own. I also remember that first clunker my parents bught for me: a 1957-or-so Dodge station wagon. An absolute tank, but I learned from direct experience that it would go right through the snow. That one was followed by a Renault, back when we called it Ren-awlt and not Re-know. That was my first manual shift car, and also the car I drove when I met my wife. (And taught HER to drive a stick shift.)

Ben has his eye on a 1988 VR-6 Carata (sp?), a car I’ve never even heard of. Apparently, there were only a few of them made, and they are considered “hot.” I stopped thinking about “hot” about 30+ years ago, so I’m no judge. Ben, though, is all about this VR-6.

Now it’s on to the “how are you going to pay for this?” and “how are you going to pay for your insurance?” and “what do you MEAN it may take more than a day to get a car loan?” and “what do you MEAN the bank won’t loan money to a 17-year-old without a job?”

Ah well — we will, I’m sure, live through this, just as we have lived through many other rites of passage. I’ll probably have a tear in my eye as I watch him drive his first new car, thinking of my first car, thinking of the thrill of the open road — thinking of the car insurance bill. Perhaps I can convince him to just sit in it and make motor noises.

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