Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Old enough to drive


A man-boy and his dog
Montreal, QC, December 2009


My wife and I have spent a good chunk of the day incredulously looking at each other and wondering both how and why time has to move as quickly as it does. See, 16 years ago today, we became parents after Zach spent the better part of a day trying to come into the world before surgeons decided to help him out a bit.

Our goal then was to ensure his path would be a little more smooth than his entry. And with a few exceptions - here, here and here - it's been a charmed life.

He's taller than I am now, a man-child with a wickedly sharp sense of humor and a refreshingly unique way of looking at the world. He's got mad chops with a lens, and despite playing the annoying big brother role to perfection, always seems to know when to cut the act and do the right thing. He's a good kid, a good brother, a good soul, and it frightens me beyond belief to know that he might be behind the wheel of my car before long.

Your turn: What advice do you have for our newly minted 16-year-old?

One more thing: My lovely wife wrote about Zach's big day here.

19 comments:

Serendipity said...

No experience to give you an advice on that topic but all I can say is he resembles you. So, no doubt he is your kid.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

To embrace everything that comes your way... That u will experience every emotion and to not get scarred from it.. To learn from it and not hold grudges..Life is too short.. That love is about the best thing u can experience as well as give...Life is an ongoing learning experience, u never stop learning...and if you're a different drummer, so be it, you are special.. We are all here for a purpose and for a limited time so make the most of it.

Karen Sather said...

Remember these days of your life always and stay as true to yourself later in life as you are today! and "The two most powerful warriors are, patience and time,"quotes -Leo Tolstoy! Happy Birthday! Oh and my most favorite is always keep those you love close to your heart...and also the four legged ones, always near your side! The only most sad and angry people I have met in life so far, were loaners, who gave and listened only to themselves.

Mustang Sally said...

Happy birthday Zach!

Enjoy your new privileges and responsibilities but don't be in too big a hurry to grow up. Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers. I know it doesn't seem like it now, but this time in your life is all too short, so enjoy it while it lasts.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

As far as your Dad's title.. My son learned that 'driving is a privilege not a right'... and go easy on whoever teaches u to drive...:-) then again, the stress of it is probably payback...

The Gearheads said...

Unfortunately I haven't advice for you. My biggest fear is my 6 and 9 year old troubles will grow up and drive like I did at 16. However I am looking forward to the advice you do get because in 6 1/2 years I will be looking at the same concern.

Thumper said...

As you hand over the car keys, just keep telling yourself: the eye rolling will stop in about 5 years. The brains that he apparently sneezed out will grow back in about 6. And in about 7 years he will look at you and say earnestly, "I am *so* sorry about being a teenager..."

They're fun years...even when they frustrate the bejeebers out of you, just remember, one day you will look back and laugh...

Oh, and enjoy having the new driver...seriously, it was awesome to have someone eager to run to the store :)

Happy birthday to Zach!

Alexia said...

I predict that Zach will mature into the sort of person you and his mother have taught and shown him by example. I only know you through your blog, but I'm sure he will be a sensitive, supportive, perceptive and caring man.

When my son was 16, I wish that I'd told him more often how much I loved him, and how proud I was of him. Too often we assume that they will know these things by osmosis, rather than spelling them out.
Now I tell him frequently - even though he is an adult - how proud I am of the strong, gentle, funny, intelligent and good person he has become.

Scarlet said...

Happy birthday to Zach!
He's got his dad's good looks!

When I was 16 I wouldn't have listened to anyone's advice... I was too headstrong and determined to make my own mistakes (I still am)! So I'm not going to give any advice to your son other than,live hard and be good!

Cloudia said...

I wouldn't presume.


I know that face!



Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

><}}(°>

bruce said...

as played as it may be DON'T drink and drive...

a good friend of mine may never walk again cuz of his drinkin' drivin' dumassness...

also...listen to your parents!!! they have wisdom to go with their age...

oh yeah..happy birthday!!!

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Happy Birthday Zach...

Before you can have the keys to the car you must be able to parallel park. Has dad shown you how yet?

Oh, enjoy every day and live it as if it were your last. Don't grow up too fast, and hold on to your enthusiasm as long as possible.

The lesson here is responsibility. The older you get, the more you will attain. Hopefully, we will see a chip off the ole block.

Your dad is a good man, listen to his wisdom. Always remember your roots, honor your traditions and be kind to others.

Family is life, life is family. Honor them and respect them.

Happy Birthday from Montreal.

Jeremy

srp said...

Actually, the eye-rolling doesn't ever really end. Eye-rolling still occurs occasionally, even at 25.

As for advice... all I have is for the new drivers.
I did not let Nyssa drive with any other friends in her car for a full year... unless I was also in the car. Also, I did not allow her to ride with anyone who had had their license less than a full year. Just tried to decrease as many distractions as possible.

srp said...

Oh, yes! Happy Birthday Zach! I know you make your mom and your dad proud.

kcinnova said...

Happy Birthday to all of you!

Zach: if you are scaring your passenger, you are doing it wrong.

Carmi: if you need to remind him about safe driving, I can show you a picture of the car my oldest on totaled. Strangely enough, it was a great experience for him because he became so much more mature after he crashed the car.
Sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you. Hopefully you don't have to go through that!

fredamans said...

Happy birthday!!

I have my 15 year old, and know how you must feel. I will be feeling it too in March. No advice here, just blessings.

Moi said...

A big happy b'day to Zach! 16 is such a cool, fun number :)
On a side note, out here in US, they are talking about raising the driving age....

Shirley said...

The best thing about having teenagers is the opportunity to see them grow, to develop their sense of self, and to sit and talk. This meant, to me, staying up late when they went out, and being there at their crossroads. Some of our best conversations were at the kitchen counter at 1 AM discussing their day. I'm glad I took the time.

PS And driver's lessons!

David said...

Keep on with TWO wheels! Even though my eldest son, Oren, had his license, he loved riding his bike and saved his money for college. When he went away to school he found riding to be a better option the first two years.
in the past two years he has ridden in three road races completing 100 miles in Calif, and a 120 mile race in Nevada this month. My boy rocks on two wheels!