Saturday, November 16, 2013

Like father, like son

They say the acorn does not fall far from the tree.
It seems the older I get, the more of my father’s traits I take on. It makes sense, because he was the role model by which I formed my opinions, beliefs and morals.
Fortunately, my dad was a good father and a good, honest man. Sure he had his faults, who doesn’t, but he was a man of integrity, and that influenced my entire life.
He worked a lot – too much, which he admitted to a few years ago  – but he did his best to provide for his family and make sure we were always fed, clothed and safe.
My dad was not, however, adventurous. He was not big on travelling and did not like taking risks. That would be more my mom, and those are a few traits I picked up from her.
In my younger years, I was always up for a road trip and would head out on a moment’s notice. Just say the word, and I am out of here.
But, I’m not sure where I got the “go-fast gene” from. It was definitely not mom or dad, because they both drive slower than a sloth on valium. I have always had a penchant for driving motorized vehicles in a manner some might consider less than safe.
I can remember doing doughnuts in the driveway with our riding mower when I was 10. That is until dad saw the marks and told me to stop. Then I just did them in the backyard, where he was less likely to notice.
At 13, I bought my first dirtbike and took to the trails like bat out of hell. I loved going fast.
When I got my driver’s licence, I carried my lust for speed to the street. I had a very slow car, but I still drove like, um, well, I drove like a complete idiot, actually.
I fully admit and take responsibility for my lack of safety in my younger years. But, by the grace of God, no one was ever hurt by my youthful stupidity.
My wallet was hurt on a regular basis as I received many tickets. I paid more money in speeding fines than the car was worth. But my friends and I (they also drove like complete idiots) just saw it as the price you had to pay for having fun, so it never really slowed us down.
It really wasn’t completely my fault.
You see, I had a medical condition – I was an idiot. I also had a right foot that seemed much heavier than normal and was always putting more pressure on the gas pedal than it should have.
So what does all this have to do with that acorn I was talking about?
I fear I have seen shades of the same need for speed in Junior.
It was in a school assignment where he wrote he was not really crazy about his first car because, and I quote, “it was ugly and slow.”
The ugly part is not a concern, but the slow comment got my attention.
If it was slow, why would it matter, because he couldn’t go faster than the speed limit anyway. Yikes, words straight from my father’s mouth.
Junior has not yet received any speeding tickets, or been pulled over for any reason, so I feel fairly confident he is not driving like I did at his age. Aside from the hazards of such activity, the punishment for driving in a reckless manner nowadays is huge.
While the bravado of youth may taunt him to hit the gas, it would seem the long arm of the law and hefty fines has convinced him not to.
Junior still wants a fast car, but he says it would be more for show than anything else – at least that is the belief I am clinging to.

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