I try not to say too much about “these kids today,” because a) I remember how assish that sounded to me; and b) whether anything is true about “these kids today” that wasn’t true about previous generations is highly arguable by intelligent people.
Thusly disclaimed, I’ll go ahead and say that these kids today don’t seem nearly as interested in obtaining their driver’s licenses as Generation X was.
I really can’t remember the very first time I ever drove by myself. I remember an early trip that really meant something to me, though. One cool spring night I took Dad’s van, a.k.a. The Love Machine and my first daily driver, to our dearly departed Madison Square Mall to buy Look What the Cat Dragged In. I remember that I parked around back, by the food court. That was nowhere near Camelot Music, but maybe I did that on purpose too—more time out on my own.
(I could smoke freely, too. That was two months into my habit. Sigh. Nobody carded kids back then, and it would be another four years before Dad quit, so I could smoke in the van without fear of detection as long as I put the last one out ten or so minutes before I got home. Alas, when I got my driver’s license, and for a couple of years afterward really, “to be alone with a girl” wasn’t one of the reasons I needed it.)
Nate has been of age for several months now. We’ve practiced some, and he’ll make rapid progress when we do, but we haven’t done it regularly enough to prevent him regressing a bit when we lay off. Part of why we’ve not hit it harder is circumstantial, but another part of it is that it just hasn’t been that big a deal to him. And frankly, with our schedules, it’s not a particular burden to us either.
So last night, he had a band function, and he and several other kids went to Village Pizza afterward. After we picked him up, he observed that he could do such things a bit more often with a bit more autonomy if only…