I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that Younger Son got a summer job as a lifeguard at Big Kahuna’s Water Park in Destin. The bad news is he has yet to get his driver’s license. This means Hubby or I have to take him to and from work. While I am proud that Younger Son took the initiative to get a summer job, particularly one that doesn’t involve supersizing fries, I am dreading the logistics of getting him to and from work.

On a good day, it takes about forty minutes to get from our house to Big Kahuna’s. This entails going across the mid bay bridge (four times in one day at $3.50 per trip) as well as driving in summer traffic in Destin. Let me just say that Hubby and I would rather have a root canal without Novocaine than drive in Destin in the summer. With tourist traffic and vehicles lined up for miles to get across the bridge on condo changeout days, we could be stuck in traffic for an hour or more. On the few occasions I have tried to bypass the mid bay bridge and gone around by way of Okaloosa Island, I have vowed never again. So, short of buying a boat to ferry us across, it looks like Hubby or I (probably I, since I am retired and have nothing else to do) will be spending a lot of time in the car.

I have tried to figure out ways to make this chauffeuring less painful, such as getting a season pass to Big Kahuna’s and hanging out in the park all day working on my tan. (Maybe I can get an employee family discount.) There is just one problem with that solution. Believe it or not, despite the fact I am retired, I seem to have a lot of other things to do. Besides, the food is terrible and over-priced, and guests are not allowed to bring outside food into the park. I suppose I could leave the park and go out for lunch, but that alternative has me driving in Destin traffic again. I could spend the day shopping at Destin Commons or other retail stores. But one can only do so much shopping, especially when one is retired and has no paycheck. Maybe I could hang out at the Destin cinema all day watching movies—except for the fact there is rarely anything playing I want to see. So, I guess I’m left with chauffeuring.

Somehow, the thought of Younger Son being responsible for saving lives does not inspire warm fuzzies in me. The kid can’t even put a dish in the dishwasher, or remember to brush his teeth or change his underwear. He is more concerned with his “image” of strutting around showing off his buff body and being a “chick magnet” than paying attention to someone flailing in the water. Besides, if he had to jump in and save somebody, he might get his hair wet and mess it up. I want so badly to let the management know what they’re in for, but I figure that’s their problem.

Younger Son is excited about all the money he will be making. I figure with the cost in tolls and gas to get him to and from work, his paycheck will about cover those expenses. Of course, we will see none of that money, as it will never occur to him to reimburse us for the amount of money it is costing us for him to work. For some reason, teenagers see everything parents do for them as costing nothing. Sometimes I wish we could return to the days of apprenticeships, when entrepreneurs took in young people and taught them trades. Not only would someone else be responsible for Younger Son’s training and housing, but they would also have to feed the human garbage disposal. That prospect, alone, makes apprenticing him out look better and better. Any takers?