I cannot believe I am writing another post about my teenage drivers. If you missed the first one, please consider catching up on our plight.
Today’s story features Angela, my brilliant sophomore in college. She is majoring in Computer Engineering and Music Theory at the University of Notre Dame. She plays piano and pipe organ, has a wealth of knowledge about horses, and is insanely good at math. I thought I should say some nice things about her. Because I dearly love her. And I think the world of her. But I firmly believe that she should never be without Roadside Assistance.
Let me recap Angela’s driving history. This is not to scare off any potential suitors. Or employers (except Uber and Lyft). But this gal is developing quite the rap sheet. In her 3 long years of driving, Angela has totaled 3 cars, blown 2 tires, procured 1 speeding ticket, and hit some unsuspecting object/animal in Minnesota. That car repair required duck tape to get her home. Her closest friends have only been pulled over/ticketed when she was in the car with them. Do we see a pattern here?
Angela’s history of unfortunate events has inspired great literature and acts of service from her youngest sister.
Now, I must come to my daughter’s defense. Partially. She has driven more in 3 years than many people do in a decade. Solo trips to Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana. One Thanksgiving she drove a car straight home from Texas. Her senior year of high school, she commuted over 50 miles daily into the city in rough driving conditions. So she has driven thousands of miles without any incidents.
But there have been many roadside phone calls from our beloved daughter.
Last weekend, Sam and I purchased a 3rd car to replace the beloved Dan Can. This may seem like a luxury but it has become a necessity. Our high school kids attend school 40 miles apart from each other. Sam works 25 miles in another direction. Public transportation schedules rarely line up with our needs.
After much discussion, we decided to purchase a smaller, reliable, and less expensive car for the kids. As much as Sam would like a newer car to drive to work, it just doesn’t make sense given our kids driving records. So we bought a very reasonably priced 2016 Hyundai Elantra.
A couple days ago, Angela asked to drive into Wisconsin to meet up with a childhood friend who is beginning a horse training job. With her driving history in mind, I hesitatingly said yes. She arrived safely and enjoyed a lovely day. And then she began the drive home.
And something went BANG.
She reached Sam first, which is a small miracle. He works in a secure area where mobile phones are not allowed. If aliens invaded the planet, he wouldn’t know it until he came home for dinner. Miraculously, he answered a desk phone in the lab and here’s how their conversation started:
So I was driving.
And then I heard a loud bang.
And I blew a tire.”
I had left my phone at home while picking up Josephine from the train station. When I arrived back at home, Mary Frances told me to call Angela. Immediately. And to stay calm.
When Angela answered her phone, she quickly said, “Mom, it’s not my fault.”
Now, why would I think that?
She was on the side of the road, cars buzzing by at 80 mph. But she had already contacted the emergency Department of Transportation hotline. Because she’s got that play down cold. And the number pre-programmed into her phone.
A tire and a rim. That’s all it was. Sam and I had the same reaction. Relief. We can handle a blown tire. And a bent wheel. Mostly, we were thrilled to not call our insurance company.
She drove the rest of the way home on the spare, wisely staying off the highway. I wish she had arrived home with a different kind of donut. But she was safe. I am grateful for that.
As her superman from IDOT put on the spare, she took a picture and posted the following. I thought you might like it.
I’m threatening to paint the kids’ car neon orange.
Just to help our neon Jesus in the future.