Sweet Sixteen…Really?


In this message, Brad Mathias discusses the fear of his sixteen year old daughter having a driving license.

My youngest daughter just turned sixteen…we’re going to get her driver’s license tonight after school. I’m nervous. She is about to become mobile…not in the “technological” sense, or the “I’m no longer crawling but walking” sense… but in the “I’m going to be able to drive my car at any speed she can conceive” sense. Sweet Sixteen… Really ?

Who coined that phrase “sweet sixteen”…, what knucklehead made that little pronouncement for all of teenager-dom?

Someone crazy, or someone who doesn't pay an Allstate drivers insurance rate for high school girls. Someone who has no idea how insane it is for a “yet to be eligible voter” to be given the legal right to operate a $30,000 vehicle without adult supervision.

I mean seriously, what's wrong with just raising the drivers age a wee bit…? Maybe to like 21 or something more adultish than being a sophomore in high school.

I've heard other freaked out parents cope with this issue my whole life, but I was silly enough to think that when a parent of a sixteen year old said … “Oh…it’s not a big deal, really so convenient to have someone who can do errands for you or drive themselves to school club events…” they actually believed it.

I now know that is sooo not true. It’s a coping mechanism that they repeat as often as possible, to as many other parents they can find, to help them believe it for themselves. They are simply deceiving us all to believe that it’s totally o.k. that their child is behind the wheel. Because any sane parent would absolutely freak out thinking that their hormonal almost adult child is out there, trying to keep up with their instant messages, texting, and updating their Twitter, Facebook status and shuffling through their iPods and listening to the radio while they check out all of the “hot” guys they can find in other vehicles. And as they drive from their local Sonic to Taco Bell to McDonalds and on to Starbucks and then occasionally, sometimes…even watch the road.

Ohhhhh my. I am rambling... So as you have no doubt discerned by now, my middle child, Bethany Rose Mathias, my little “munchkinaroo”, is now a 16-year-old barbie doll, dude magnet with wheels. OH MAN, OH MAN, OH MAN!!!

So, while I’m digging frantically through the medicine cabinet this morning for some Valium… it dawns on me. My parents had to deal with this, as all parents must and God has to deal with our immaturity each and every day.

Freewill is the deal. God gave us the terrible gift of being able to “choose” our way through life. He watches us as we hop in our life-cars and motor our way through one near miss after another and waits patiently for us to finally understand and trust and believe enough in Him, for us to scoot over and let someone else take the wheel.

I love my daughter, I’m very proud of her and I know in all seriousness that she will be a great driver and someday she will teach her kids to drive and the cycle of sweet sixteen will continue. My prayer today is for my daughter to grow enough as a young woman to see it’s really not so important to have the license to drive…, its much more important to see clearly enough to know you don’t need to.

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