3/22/2022 19:55

Drive Like Your Kids

This past winter Alek Dog and I would walk past a house with a small sign protruding from the snow in the front yard. "Drive Like Your Kids" it said. Odd, I thought, yet perhaps profound.

It would depend, of course, on who your kids are and especially on how old your kids are. But if you have children in their mid to upper teen years who are recently licensed to operate motor vehicles and not currently addicted then yes. In actual reality newly trained young drivers appear to be more alert to their surroundings and more committed to following the rules than are drivers 8, 27, or 52 years their senior. At least it seems that way to me.

They are more alert to their surroundings because their senses are at their peak and because everything is still comparatively new and possibly because they are responding to a challenge to be aware of all the others who are on the road around them. They are more committed to the rules of driving because they are still young enough to do what they are told and because they are naive enough to driving that they haven't yet developed any alternative habits.

In general teens are eager to take on the responsibilities of adulthood whether driving, caring for their siblings, putting food on the table, or running an event for their peers. Older people often would prefer to have the emoluments without the responsibility or (by my age) are simply tired of being in charge for too long.

"Drive like your kids."

But not only that. Drive like your kids but without forgetting the rare risks your kids have never seen. Drive like your kids but take a long view of how to prepare before setting out. Drive like your kids and be willing to add new best practices to the rules you've already learned. Drive like your kids but with the wisdom of experience added to the eagerness of youth.

It is a good play in the actual reality game.

Alek Dog and I have walked that route again now that spring has come and I was disappointed to see the snow has melted away from the bottom of the sign in the front yard. The message is longer and less insightful now. "Drive like you kids live here" it says.