Monday, July 16, 2007

Freedom and Fear in North Louisiana

If you want to see happy, find a young driver. The feelings of freedom, mobility and power combine to create quite a rush. Mix in the inevitable sense of invincibility that comes along with being a teenager, and you have reason to smile.
If you want to see worry lines develop before your very eyes, find the father of a young driver. A look of stark terror can be found embossed on the face of Dear Old Dad.
Ride shotgun with a 15-year old girl behind the wheel, and you feel alive! You also feel as though you are near death at essentially any second. Toes curl, knuckles blanche, the heart races, pupils dilate and respiration rate increases. It's like being on a thrill ride with none of the thrills and all of the chills.
They accelerate too quickly and don't brake soon enough. They don't look both ways. They park too close to the next car. They don't understand the dynamics of driving in a parking lot. They don't grasp that every other driver on the road is an irresponsible dolt in charge of a 2,000 pound missile of death.
That, of course, is why Dear Old Dad has to spend a year of his life riding with the 15-year-old driver. Entirely too soon, she will be a 16-year-old driver, out there on the streets alone. Now, that will curl your toes.

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Crazy In Shreveport said...

I recognize that look on your face!

My nineteen year old has serious anxiety issues (comes with the bipolar territory) and has yet to learn to drive... I guess it'll happen when it needs to.

Darrell said...

Well, CIS, you have bigger challenges. Good luck and thanks for contributing.