My brother got his driver’s license today.
You know that excitement you felt at 16 (or whatever age it is where you’re from) when you received your learner’s permit? When I turned 16, the thought of driving scared me shitless, but I felt excited about it. The idea of independence is overwhelming at that age.
Adam didn’t feel that when he turned 16. He got his permit and then refused to drive. (It didn’t help that our main vehicle at the time was a giant Suburban.) People used to get on his case about it all the time, especially some of our more distant family members. The joke at every family event became “Hey Adam! When ya gonna get your license?”
…that would have been enough to piss me off, but Adam never minded. He rode his bike or walked where he needed to go. My mom drove us to school every day for his last two years of high school. Adam didn’t care.
The truth is, Adam’s refusal to drive makes him smarter than all of us. When I got my license and car in the fall of 2010, my paychecks started to revolve around the expenses associated with my dear Bubbles. The possibilities of where to go and what to do became endless, but the cost gas tacked onto adventures proved to be a major con. I rarely go to the mall or anywhere out of town because sometimes just the driving can break the bank (especially with gas over $4 now).
Adam rode with friends. Adam rode back to school with our brother Trevor, who, like me, was eager to drive at 16. Adam’s money from our grandparents for his graduation stayed nestled safely in his bank account (until tuition attacked it).
At this point, I’ve already paid hundreds of dollars to keep my car on the road. Adam’s wallet stays fat with bills until he chooses something to spend it on. He’s never had the obligation (or freedom) of owning a car.
My brother got his driver’s license today. He’s almost 21 years old. People mocked him for years, but he is smarter than us all.