This past weekend marked a milestone for us. For our oldest hooligan.
Our 16-year-old purchased his first vehicle.
I don’t know whether to laugh with joy or curl up into a fetal position and cry like there’s no tomorrow. It kind of depends on the moment as to what reaction I have.
He got the perfect used car for a high school boy, though.
It’s a 1992 or ’93 (look, I’m doing good just to get it in the right decade…) Chevy S-10 that was completely re-built from the frame up about two years ago. It has a new engine, a new transmission, and a new paint job. The man from whom we bought it, built the truck for his then 16-year-old son. The father is a mechanic (aka Mechanic). So, they did all the things to it that a mechanic and his 16-year-old son (aka Son) would like, within reason.
Needless to say, our son is very, very happy.
He can taste the freedom….
If you were to just look at the interior, you would think it was a piece of junk. The Mechanic and Son didn’t really concern themselves with the interior. That wasn’t important, apparently. It has an decent stereo, but other than that, it’s pretty beat-up inside.
For some odd reason, that didn’t bother our 16-year-old.
He could care less that the top to the middle console is missing, or that the steering wheel is so worn, it leaves black stuff on your hands when you let go.
He doesn’t mind one little bit that you have to basically hold the windows in place as you roll them up.
Nor does it matter that the original seat covers don’t really even exist….there are replacement seat covers, but they don’t really fit the old, non-existent seat covers….
Not one teensy, little bit did he care.
But, he did care what it looked like on the outside.
Mechanic and Son did a pretty good job with the paint. They used the Chevy paint colors, so our son could match it, if he ever wants to touch up. You’d have to look pretty close to see any mistakes.
The truck’s lowered just a little bit, too. But, not so much that it ruins the ride, or looks dorky, like you’re trying too hard.
Those things are important and help in the overall look of the vehicle, which was fairly important to our son.
But what really mattered most was what was under the hood. The engine sounds fantastic. It’s a V8 and it purrs. Like a kitten.
It doesn’t sputter and whine like a lot of other high school boys’ cars. (We have a friend who called cars like that Pooty-Cars. “They sound like they’re pooting all the way down the street.” You know what I’m talking about…the Honda Civics with added spoilers, a wing and a silly sounding muffler…you know, you’ve seen and heard ’em….The one man who reads this blog knows what I’m talking about, right Man?) (I can’t even claim that ThrillCam reads this drivel….he still hasn’t subscribed to my blog!!)
A decent paint job and an engine that purrs, or roars, depending on what is required at the moment, was exactly what my son wanted. (Well, if I’m honest, he really wanted an old 70’s souped-up Camaro, with the same V8 engine, but then again, doesn’t every red-blooded American male?)
He still has some work to do on it, and he has all summer to tinker with it, which I think is good. He didn’t need his first-ever vehicle to be brand-spanking new and perfect. I mean, he’s a 16-year-old…. He just recently learned how to use the toaster.
It’s good for him to work a little on his truck; it’ll give him a sense of pride and ownership. Plus, I really do believe it is a spectacular skill to have, to be able to work on a car engine–it saves you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, he may have a wife who doesn’t know a gasket from a stick shift from a drip pan….
It’s good for him to value the fact that he even has a car to drive; not every kid gets that.
It’s good for him to see it as a blessing, a gift; it’ll teach him to be thankful.
Besides, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when he’ll have his first fender-bender. (I am praying now that if he does have a wreck, it is minor, obviously.) So, if he’s going to wreck a car, I’d rather it be a used, cheaper vehicle than a brand spanking new one.
So, I write this not only to commemorate this milestone in our son’s life, but to mourn the end of his childhood, really. He’s moving ever-so-quickly into manhood, closer to flying the coop….
But, more than anything, I write this to say:
GET OFF THE STREETS, PEOPLE!! MY SON HAS A TRUCK AND IS NOW DRIVING!!! BE VERY, VERY AFRAID!!!!
You have been warned.
P.S. Because my son is still driving with his Driver’s Permit, we take him to school every morning. I took him this morning. Of course, the punk wants to drive his truck to school, which meant I had to drive the “beastly truck” home….
Can I just tell you? There is really nothing more pitiful than a 40-something-year-old mom with no makeup on, with a penchant to wave at the kids, driving through the high school parking lot in a lowered Chevy S10 with a loud motor, windows down, and Bon Jovi blaring on the radio.
It was a proud moment for me…. And my son.