Tuesday, July 31, 2007

There's a Rocket for Every Pocket

Bear is now a licensed driver. After an excruciating visit to the motor vehicles department where he assures me he dealt with one of Marge Simpson's evil sisters, the boy got his drivers license. I am so happy for him.
It doesn't seem that long ago when I was cruising these same streets with my Olds Delta 88 packed with seven or eight teenagers looking for something, anything to do. The kids called my car The Titanic because it was huge, luxurious and always heading for a wreck. You see, I wasn't exactly the best driver in the world. It took me four trys to pass the practical portion of my drivers test. Thinking back on it the fact that my car was always jammed with giggling kids screaming over the radio was probably not helpful either. Still, everybody loved The Titanic.
This was pre-mini van days and it was the only car we could all pile into together. When I banged into something that thick Detroit steel never dinged or bent. My radio was set to the only FM station that played rock music and we tried our best to out sing The Clash, Black Flag and Blondie before MTV. Chinese fire drills (yes I know that's not pc, but you know what I'm talking about, don't you) were ever so much fun when there were 10 kids, four doors and and a police car pulling up to the intersection. If my father knew what we got up to in that car he'd have taken away the keys for sure.
Now it's Bear's turn. His world will be very different from mine. He'll have to learn to navigate his fuel efficient, but oh so fragile compact car in big city traffic. He'll never be out of touch with me thanks to his cell phone. Even if he could fit more than one kid in his car, the law prohibits teenagers from having more than one passenger and his father and I won't let him drive after dark for at least one more year.
Regardless, I expect he will still feel the same joy and sense of freedom behind the wheel that I gloried in at his age. As the Oldsmobile ads claimed way back when, "There's a Rocket for Every Pocket" and my Bear is about to take off and that is as it should be.