Monday, October 25, 2004

I don't mean to gloat...

...ok, maybe a little. Our 19 year old son, Derek, bought a used motorcycle last June, much to our chagrin. This proved to be a source of worry and frustration for me and Debby. To Derek's credit he took 100 percent full responsibility for every aspect of owning and driving a motorcycle (ok, so we flat out refused to help in any way). Our consternation was over safety, safety and safety. Bottom line, we love our son and did not want him to get hurt, crippled or killed. Not much more going on here than that. When he bought the motorcycle it was not a good thing around our house. We feared the worst. The summer was mostly uneventful but on his first day of classes at Valley College he went for a ride on Mulholland Canyon and had a near miss with on coming traffic. He laid the bike down hard enough that he needed his friends to pick him and the bike up with a truck. He suffered road rash and bruises and limped for a week on a sore knee. As parents we were supportive and nurturing but we felt horrible inside. Our family really came together that night to support him and it was quite funny to watch the girls hover over him and take care of him with band-aids and neosporin. Derek repaired the bike with his friends and resumed riding.

About a month or so ago, Derek realized that winter was coming and asked us to help him buy a used car. After plenty of research, negotiations and daydreaming, a car was agreed upon and purchased. Debby and I felt good about it as Derek would be riding the motorcycle less. Well, several weeks ago Derek laid the bike down again on Riverside Blvd., when another driver made a left turn into a driveway in front of him and then immediately backed out. Derek thought she was going all the way in and bailed out to avoid T-Boning her car. Again scrapes and bruises and a sore back that continues to this day. But overall he is two for two in surviving accidents with only minor physical damage. The motorcycle on the otherhand was again not driveable and required a truck ride to get home. After this accident, Debby and I said as nicely and lovingly as possible that this is why we were so against him getting the bike. We love him and it pains us to think how much worse it could have been both times. We asked him to make a smart choice when deciding what to do about fixing and riding his motorcycle. He was receptive to what we had to say and it felt like we really connected with him.

Derek filed a claim with the driver's insurance company and took the bike over to a body shop for the claims adjuster to assess. Last Friday I came home to hear on the answering machine that his bike is being considered a total loss and that someone else will call him with a settlement. As disappointed as I know he must be, and I do feel for him, I have to stay that I am freaking thrilled! This particular motorcycle is out of our lives and it happened in a way that we were not the bad guys and Derek gets to save face. Hopefully he will get enough money to pay off what he owes on the motorcycle, but for now Debby and I can rest easier knowing that he is not riding a motorcycle.

By the way, we know that he will buy another motorcycle in the least I'll have something to blog that day.