As parents, it’s a given that we will have to make many difficult decisions when it comes to our children. I think one of the most difficult decisions comes when our kids turn 16. They, of course, want their driver’s license right!now! They want their own transportation right!now! I remember when I turned 16. My parents handed me a gift wrapped box. I was beyond excited when I opened that box and saw a set of car keys. I couldn’t believe they had gotten me a car! They didn’t. It was a set of keys to the cars we already had. Cruel, cruel joke, and one I may just use on Aidan when he turns 16.
One thing I know I will NOT do when Aidan turns 16 is buy him a motorcycle. Now, I have nothing against motorcycles. In fact, I quite like them. I don’t have my motorcycle endorsement, and in all honesty, I’ll probably never own one, but I’m more than happy to ride bitch on the back of someone else’s. The feeling of being on a bike is freeing. Nothing between you and the road. The wind rushing by. It’s quite a rush. It’s also inherently dangerous. Even the most conscientious riders are always at risk. More often than not, it’s not the ones on the bike that are at fault in an accident. It’s the people in cars around them who are not paying attention. Of course, there are some riders who are just idiots and weave in and out of traffic with no regard to their safety or anyone else’s.
There was a local high school student that was killed on his motorcycle this week on his way to school. He collided with another student’s truck. The details are still being sorted out, and it is not yet clear who was at fault. He was wearing a helmet, but he was still killed. This young man got his license nine days before this accident. His parents bought him this motorcycle the day before this accident. One day. He had his bike for one day.
I feel for these parents. I know they’re going through unimaginable grief. However, I can’t help but wonder what the hell they were thinking by giving their 16-year-old a crotch rocket for his birthday. Sixteen year olds driving cars is scary enough. A motorcycle at 16? That thought would never cross my mind. Kids just simply aren’t experienced enough to handle that kind of responsibility. I can’t imagine the guilt those parents must be feeling on top of the grief of losing their son. I know we all want to give our kids everything they want, but sometimes you have to make the tough decisions for them and be the bad guy. I would imagine if these parents had to to it all over again, they’d be the bad guys and still have their son.