One of the first things that most new parents realize is that when you have a baby, they don’t come with a manual. My teenage daughter is about to become a mother and if I could only get a dollar for every person that’s said, “She’s not ready to have a baby”. I‘d be heading off on a Caribbean vacation. My question is – who really ever is.
When I was in middle school my parents made the decision that it was time to change school districts. It sounded like a smart idea at the time. We lived in a “city district” and you would always hear the reports about the violence and the drugs and my parents decided it was time to head for greener pastures before the kids have to go to that high school in the city.
So off we went. It was a decision we were all excited about, after all I didn’t have a lot of friends at the old district and my dad told me that I might be able to ride my dirt bike at the new place. It was out in the country and surrounded by farmlands, so I was excited about that.
I remember the first day we were there a family who lived down over the hill knocked on our front door and welcomed us with some baked goods. They had a son and a daughter so off me and my sis went to make some new friends. It turned out the girl was about 6 years older than my sister so they really didn’t have a lot in common. The boy was the same age as me and we kind of hit it off.
The next day I was in the back yard messing around on my dirt bike and up over the hill behind the house comes another kid riding his dirt bike. Instant cool, we introduced ourselves and I asked my dad if I could go ride with the new kid. Dad wasn’t wild about the idea but my new friend convinced him that the local farmers allowed all the local kids to ride and that just about everyone in the neighborhood had a bike to ride.
So after lots of begging Dad said it was ok but to check back within the hour. So off we went as I thought to myself, I think this is gonna work out. Me and my new friend rode the trails for about a half hour before we pulled off the trail and into the pine trees. Once inside, things opened up and we came to a stop where another kid was sitting along the trail.
We took our helmets off and Dave introduced me to Larry and the first thing he said was – smoke break. I wasn’t sure what he meant and then Larry pulled out a pack of Camel Filters from his jacket and they both lit up. Of course they offered me a smoke but I declined, I mean my parents were smokers but I was too young to start smoking, I was only 13.
They asked me what was wrong, don’t kids smoke where you come from and I said yeah, that some did but my parents would kill me if they found out. It only took a few weeks before they had convinced me to give it a try. They also convinced me that the kid I met on the first day there was a real dweeb and that they were the cool kids on the block. They asked me; don’t you wanna be cool too?