What parents think their kids deserve and what kids think they are entitled to can be vastly different. One great illustration of this is when your child hits the teenage years (also known as the Great Tribulation). There are a growing number of scholars who believe the seven-year “end times” of the Bible were actually a description of the author’s experience raising children from ages 13-19. What with the weeping, plagues, blood and whatnot, they may be on to something. 

At any rate, my Facebook app reminded me of a post from 6 years ago. Facebook is always reminding me of stuff. Sometimes it’s a good memory. Facebook will show me a picture of the family and say “see how happy you were on that vacation. Have a nice day.” 

But other days Facebook will show me a picture of myself from 10 years ago and say, “see how skinny and tan you were back then. And all that brown hair. What happened to you? Have a nice day.” 

Facebook can be cruel. But yesterday, it reminded me of a battle we had six years ago with our oldest son over his first car. His expectation was something along the lines of what Daniel Craig typically drives in a James Bond movie. We, on the other hand, were looking for the AMC Pacer that Mike Myers drove in Wayne’s World.  

We had to meet in the middle. So, I crafted the actual letter below and posted it on Facebook in the hopes of finding just the right used car. And today, I’m sharing it with you in the event you need to buy a car for a teenager.

Dear Friends,

Our family needs a used car for a newly licensed teenage driver. Said driver wants a car that will do 100 mph while only appearing to the local constables as being capable of doing 20. He also wants one that only needs to be filled with gas once a year and never needs oil. He would also like it to be able to leap more buses than Evel Knievel’s last successful jump. It must also pass the “my friends and various girls think it’s cool” test. In short, when you’re 7 you believe in Santa Clause. When you’re 17, you believe in the Magical Used Car of Awesomeness.

His parents believe in neither. So, we’re reaching out to Facebook friends and family to see if anyone has a reliable used car for $5,000 or less. It should be reliable or at least have flaws that you can warn us about ahead of time. Make, model, and condition should be shabby enough to keep a teenager humble but not so bad that he abandons it in a mall parking lot. If you don’t have a car, but know someone you trust selling one, we’re happy to hear about that too.

So, please help us teach our teenager that any first car is the Magical Used Car of Awesomeness. Just like we learned.

Carry on, Citizens!

photo credit: charlie cars 1977-82 Opel Rekord panel van via photopin (license)