When the Challenge is Too Great

by Lisa

I’m always trying to figure out if I like pretty paintings, or interesting ones better. Apparently there is a time and place for both.

This week was the Fine Art Dealers Association Exhibition at the LA Convention Center. I’ve been going for years, and it’s always a lot of fun and a great place to see beautiful work, both 2-D and 3-D. Several of us went on Friday. This year, it seemed that the show was more interesting in the contemporary field in a way that challenged the mind. There were literally works that made you feel motion sick because they had an optical illusion effect to them. They drew great crowds, and cudos to the artist.

When I got home, I fixed dinner, and my son announced his arrival by calling and asking me to step outside for a quick spin in his car. He and my husband have worked on his Mitsubishi Eclipse for a year and a half. They have souped it, boosted it, turboed it and everything else you can possibly do to a car to make it sexier, faster and more powerful. They apparently had had a new breakthrough that made the car do some – hell I don’t even know. I pretend I care, but it upsets me in truth and I don’t let the information sink into my memory. But I obliged, and got in the car.

We got a block away and within 100 yards of a stop sign, he GUNNED the car, taking it through three of the gears at unbelievable speed. I screamed at him to stop as my foot pounded the invisible break in front of me. He laughed gleefully. What fun it was for him. I was dreading the next open stretch but to my great relief, there was a cop car ahead that had pulled someone over, and Dylan crawled by. I explained I had something on the stove and needed to get back.

He ate dinner and left. At about 11:00, the phone rang. Everyone out there who has a driving teenager knows that sinking feeling of getting a late night phone call from your kid, and you know they’re not calling to say goodnight. Of course in our case, the car breaks down on a regular basis so it could be that OR an accident. My husband answered. It would seem that Dylan had decided to show his friends what his car was capable of doing. Apparently, there is something under the hood that he has to switch (he has not gotten around to putting the switch in the car yet), to make it do something really cool. He forgot to close the hood all the way. You guessed it. The hood flew up as he hauled down the street and smashed his windshield. Thank GOD ALMIGHTY there was no accident other than that.

All I could manage to say to him today was a terse “Did it make you a better driver son?” Indeed he is humbled. And it just may have been worth it for that.

Anyway, I think tonight I will sit and veg in front of a beautiful seascape instead of something that challenges my mind.

deromespringnearasilomar18x24o-bframeless

by Albert Thomas Derome

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9 Responses to When the Challenge is Too Great

  1. Angela says:

    It makes my heart pound to think of my darlin’ daughter getting her driver’s license – this story did not help!

    Of course, we live a good half hour out of town (well, out of the ‘big town’ where we work, she goes to school, etc) — so I feel a little differently sitting in a freezing cold car waiting for a late night bus to return from some activity or another. Then I can not WAIT for her to be able to just drive herself!

    My husband and I argue all the time over whether this will be more of a good thing or bad – switching sides pretty frequently. She’s only 13 though, so I suppose we’ve got quite a while to debate it.

  2. Angela says:

    BTW: I’m glad your son was alright! What a scary thing to have happen. Hopefully he was terrified enough to remember to be more careful for awhile.

  3. Thank God he is okay…
    I was relieved when my youngest daughter finally graduated from college and retired her “re-entry vehicle” so named because that what it resembled after her many many minor accidents. (Mind you this was the SECOND car we had given her…. The first was totaled in a five car wreck on the 101 to which we were called at 2:00 a.m. one day… Miraculously everyone was okay.)
    So I though I was done with the car thing… she bought her own car a safe Subaru and after three kids I was done.
    WRONG…. We’re now raising our grandson. He’s almost 9 and God help me I’m wishing I could put him in a deep freeze when he turns 15 so I can avoid the teenage angst and early driving years all together.
    In the meantime we’re enjoying every minute.
    Glad you will have many many more stories to live through.

  4. lbtowers says:

    Well at least you have a girl Angela who’s sexual identity will probably not be defined by her automobile. Just get her something that chugs along.

    Marian, I thought that was your SON you were raising. Perhaps you told me and I forgot, but WOW, I am impressed. You are a saint. How do you do all that you do? You put me to shame.

  5. Deb Ward says:

    Been there, done that. I remember a 45 minute ride with my son that would have taken me a good hour and a half! Rounding a bend, me hanging on for dear life, I told my son “Your grandmother will thank you”. When he asked “What for?” my response was “For getting me to pray”. My son’s car was a Mustang 5.0 that he souped up even more (to the point that the last time he worked on it even he was surprised by a sudden inability to contain all those horses)! I’m guessing your son has done his share of doughnuts and burn outs, too!
    (NOTE: I won’t tell you about other toys boys like – such as 4-wheelers and dirt bikes; or the ramping these things are capable of – read flying through the air 20 or so feet off the ground. Your son is young and you don’t need to know these things yet!)
    The good news is that your son will probably survive and begin settling down as he nears the mid-20s (or maybe not)! And, believe it or not, they do learn something from all of these near misses that can make them better drivers as they age.
    From one mother to another – GOOD LUCK!
    P.S. If you also have a girl, and thought the boy was nerve wracking – well – let’s just say I’ll be praying for ya!

  6. Lisa, my sons are 5 and 7 and i dread the day that i have a similar story. thank god no one was hurt! Holly

  7. Rebecca says:

    I tried a new wine tonite…Why don’t you go get a bottle too!!! It’s French, so it would really be a stretch for you Californians!! “Pinot Evil” Pinot Noir. $7.99. I’m relaxed. Is the painting doing it for you?

  8. Ah yes… that was a good question to ask. Another one I like to employ when any of my kids confess their sins is “Well, did you learn something from this?”

  9. donna says:

    My son’s didn’t get their licenses until they were 18 and 19. Their choice, not mine. Just never pushed them to drive and somehow they didn’t get that 16 year old urge. Had older friends to drive them everywhere, I suppose. I was the same way, over 17 when I got mine, no accidents ever that were my fault.

    Anyway, knock on wood, neither one has ever had an accident and both are very good drivers…

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