There are many experiences in life that gives a child/teen a sense of freedom and increases the adventures available to them. Think about the thrill that comes with your first bike, as the wind whips through your hair (pre helmet days!). As the child becomes a teen, nothing symbolizes freedom like a driver’s license. Independence is the new norm as teens begin to experience the freedom and responsibility of driving. I can remember being so proud as I watched Alex get his license photo taken the day after his 16th birthday. This past weekend, a year and a half later, I got to watch and participate in Alex’s buying his first vehicle, a truck.
The shopping and buying experience was another unique adventure for us and I got to feel like a needed dad and proud observer of independence at the same time. There were some great lessons here including his hours of research and fact finding (Carfax is great). Equally important was tempering the urge to jump at the first one to come along and push a little further in one’s search as we leaned on friends whose experiences could guide us. Also were the economic implications of working hard and saving money, deciding on a loan amount which he could handle, the reality of taxes and one’s first inspiration to have a political voice, and gas prices that were rising with each Google search. Ultimately, the desire to have a monster truck overruled the realities of future oil prices, and a deal was negotiated with the car dealership.
As a dad, whose daily role of guidance and education is reduced with each passing day, the actual day of the car buying experience gave me a recollection of days past. I got to feel knowledgeable again in the details of shopping, what traps to avoid, and the process of negotiating and playing one’s cards right. In the end, I believe the three parties Alex, myself, and the dealer all felt satisfied. As you’ll see in the video, it’s possible that the salesmen had as much fun as we did!
Given that it’s one big truck, we are expecting to have many great adventures with it. We will definitely be getting our “Groove” on as we load up and head out!