A big step into a much larger world

UPDATED - 11-16-07 @ 1955 hours

Later this afternoon, Ben (One of Five) is going to "Attempt" to get his drivers license.

Due to many reasons (too numerous and complicated to get into here) Ben has had a pretty rough go at life between the ages of 12 until around 17 - but I am proud of a number of things he has accomplished in the past two years. He has come a very, VERY long way, and deserves the good things he has been working towards (like a drivers license).

It's odd you know... I read many "Dad Blogs" (see the "More Fathers" column to the right), and many of them have very young children. I can relate to them because I too have young children at home. But, I have the unique perspective of having five - spread out from preschool to adulthood. (3, 7, 10, 12, and 19).

So, while I am dealing with "stay at home - three year old" issues, I also have the "excited to show me she can add" aspects of a 7 year old, the "just about ready to be interested in girls" 10 and 12 year olds, and the "I don't like it, but I have no say in the matter" aspect of "owning" an adult!

Back to the matter at hand...

Ben has been driving on a permit for just over a year now, and does a pretty good job. I worry about how he is going to "know where to go, and how to get there", yet as I remember back back to when I first got my license, I recall not always "knowing where to go, or how to get there" either... In fact, some times "getting lost" helped teach me a lot about my surroundings, how to get around, and how to get back on track. So - I guess I should give him the benefit of the doubt (and the gift of a Hudson Map!).

What is different with Ben is...

He has insurance money ready to go.
(Our insurance agent's office is only a few miles from the testing site)

He is old enough (just shy of twenty) to OWN a vehicle.

His parents just replaced their older vehicle for a slightly newer model.
(Some thanks can go to Aunt Mary on that one too! - See HERE)

Because of these things, he will (upon the successful completion of his drivers license test) immediately becomes the owner of hail damaged, teal colored, 1994 Ford Escort - with just under 200,000 miles on.

The 'scort you ask? Yes, the 'scort.

The same 'scort you so jokingly (and frequently) mock about all the problems it has? Yup, the very one!

How can you allow your child to drive such a vehicle? Well, quoting above "He has come a very long way, and deserves the good things he has been working towards" - you should know that in the past month that I have owned the Saturn, (knowing he was about to inherit the 'scort) Ben has paid for many of the repairs that made the Escort "questionable". He has replaced the clutch (the biggie), and had some work done on the front end. The mechanic showed him how to replace the thermostat (heat inside the vehicle), and he has plans to replace the worn front end suspension.

If everything goes right - by lunchtime today, Ben will be a licensed driver, and a car owner in one fell swoop! (And no longer dependent on his grandparents or us for transportation!)

Maybe then, he will believe me when I tell him how expensive it is to be a driver and car owner!

Wish us luck!



(A picture is worth a thousand words - even better - a picture that includes the very beautiful but blog shy "Mother of Five" - Shhhh... Dont tell her that her pic is posted...)


  1. Congrats! Good luck on the drivers test. I remember my first car...a '72 VW Bug. I also remember having it working with a spare shoelace for about a week once. :)

  2. My wife has been a 'scort killer over the years. First, the '90 150k hatchback that retired for the 94 wagon that died in a collision with the side of a building.

    That was replaced with a 95 wagon that died when it hit a parking pole hard enough to set off the airbag.

    We never hit 200k with any of them, but they were good cars and even when older, still easy to work on compared to the other stuff out there.

  3. Congratulations Ben! That is a great accomplishment. Now you can show the old man how to take care of the scort.
    Good job.

  4. Its a great step forward into adulthood when one of your offspring gets their own driving licence, my 19 year old got hers last year and instantly claimed the use upon demand of her mothers car provided that I insure it and keep it filled with petrol - and the crazy thing is that I agreed, if only to stop me having to drive all over town several hours after midnight picking her up from various bars and clubs.

    Congratulations to your boy, now he can start to learn how to drive properly ;)

    And yes, you still worry every time they leave the house in their own cars, I sometimes wonder if the worry ever stops.

  5. Thanks everyone!

    Well, he has been working on learing how to drive the Escort (a manual transmission - clutch).

    He has spent a couple of days working on it now with his grandfather, and today (Sunday) will be his very first shot at driving all by his lonesome! He heads off to work around 8am - unsupervised....


    Thanks again for the kind words everyone!

  6. Hey, you commented on my wife's blog (mnclampits) and so that is how I found your blog.

    I remember when I got my licence and how much fun it was to have the freedom. I got mine at 16, although I am sure my mom was scared as heck to have me out on the road!!

    You have a great blog!

  7. Hey Its not about the badge -

    Yeah, I did not put two and two together until yesterday.

    I have been reading your blog (from my reader) for a couple of weeks now. I found your wife's thru the "Minnesota" link on blogger profiles.

    As I was reading her blog, I recognized the picture from her vacation post and your profile!

    I left a comment for you on your Peeing Prisoner Post (the "PPP" post?!?!? (grin))

    I too, find your blog very intresting! It appears that your schedule is as devastating to your sleep pattern as mine is.

    (2, 4 and 5 hours of sleep for each of the past three nights respectively. that is a total of 11 hours Between Friday morning and Monday night. (Anticipated sleep tonight - 3 hours).

    Thanks for all you do for the LE community! I for one appreciate it! I'm sure I'll see you around the blogsphere and the comments!



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