Life as a Beverly Hills mom got a whole lot easier this summer when we decided that High School kid could have a car. You’d think he’d be doing cartwheels but he was hoping for a motorcycle. With our tandem driveway a Harley-Davidson might actually have cut back the morning chaos: “C’mon, c’mon can you please move your car?”
At the end of the day, another scramble ensues because Mr. UnHollywood’s electric Chevy Volt has claimed the front spot in order to reach the charger. Did I mention, he’s usually the last one home? Nightly, kids and I grab keys and rearrange cars for the Volt, which we call The Basemobile.
We name our cars. Mine is Pearl the hybrid. College Kid’s brown SUV is known as Mr. Mocha. High School kid drives a Prius named JJ the Jet Car.
You may be wondering if we’re wasteful being a Four Car Family. I worry about that, too. After all, we use energy-efficient bulbs. Take military type showers. Recycle. We also live in Beverly Hills, an area within Los Angeles where traffic makes biking a gamble. That doesn’t stop us from riding, but it’s mighty inconvenient to cycle from Beverly Hills to the valley, which is where High School kid is taking Physics this summer.
The upside to the Four Car Family thing has to be freedom. Not just for the new teen driver but for me. My daily schedule is more civil. If I don’t immediately find a parking spot, I no longer panic. When we were only a three car family, my quest to get everything done usually resulted in my being late. To everything.
The one drawback for my teen driver is the law that states you need to have your license for one year before you can drive someone under twenty-one. I caught him driving his buddy and gave him a warning. The next time I caught him, I assigned him an eight-page essay on Safe Driving. He wrote a perfect paper.
Not that I’m happy about it. The day I got my license I drove my pal Becky to the local Haagen Daz for a scoop of Mint Chip and drove home one-handed. Becky ratted me out to my mom who smiled and asked why I didn’t bring a cone home for her.