"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Friday, February 01, 2013


     Sitting at a light on a very busy street in my city, I note the car ahead of me has a dangerously low rear tire.  I roll down my window, honk a few times and wave my arm.  The driver looks around and I point towards the rear tire.  She opens her door, peers back at the tire and yells "thank you" as she closes the door.  I am relieved.  She appears to be about my daughter's age.  The light turned green, she edged over into the right lane and then, to my utter amazement, headed up a freeway onramp heading North on I 95.  I watched helplessly thru my rearview mirror as she accelerated on up the cloverleaf.
   I thought to myself, "What in the world is wrong with you" as I drove on down the road.  What kind of young lady would purposely get onto the freeway with a very low tire?
   Later I thought, maybe she didn't have a father.  My own children, in their driving careers, have been lectured (sometimes rather loudly) when they have encountered problems on the road;  running out of gas, having oil light indicators come on or temperature gauges climbing into the red zone or calling to ask why their car is pulling to one side or making loud thumping noises or asking why there's smoke coming out from under the hood..
    I have a standard, intense response;  "PULL OVER IMMEDIATELY."  "STOP THE CAR IN THE FIRST SAFE PLACE, TURN OFF THE ENGINE."  I believe I say this in my best Shouting-Dad-Tone-of-Voice.  I think this is what Dads do.  For most fathers my age ( the plus side of 60) our first vehicles were generally "beaters."  You quickly learned from your own father or from sad experience that your car needs careful attention and maintenance if you intend to drive it a few thousand miles then sell it to your most gullible friend.
    Then somewhere along the line you become a father and watch in horror as your 16 year old takes your car to school.   But I guarantee this; they don't drive without a list of safety measures yelled into their ear.  Even today if I were to discover that my married daughter purposely drove onto a freeway knowing she had a low tire, I'd be doing the Dad Bellow despite the fact she has a husband and lives in another country. That's what Dad's do.   You try to help your children fend off vehicle disaster as best you can; generally that involves a lot of yelling.
    So I'm thinking, maybe this young lady with the dangerously low rear tire didn't have the benefit of growing up in a family where Dad yelled at her to protect her from harm and vehicular disaster.  'Cause if she'd had that yelling Dad, she would NEVER have driven up the freeway on ramp before getting the tire inflated immediately (32-34 P.S.I) at the nearest gas station or tire store..
    That's exactly why Dads exist.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

Thanks dad....

Having lost my father at an early age was not easy but I learned. Sometimes I learned the hard way, and sometimes I remembered those lessons he taught me before he died. I feel sorry for people who never had a dad at all. Sometimes I am jealous of those people who still have their father to help them with the hard stuff which motivates me to be a better father to my children. Each day I tell myself there is only today and I try to impart as many good lessons on them as possible. Life is so short and they will still need me long after I am gone.

Hopefully they remember to put air in their tires and check the oil and water levels each time they fuel up haha. If they don't it wasn't because I never told them....

This post was awesome.