Passing the tandems

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Well, I woke up and it was still true, so I guess I wasn’t dreaming.

Apparently, sometime in the past few months, both of our grown children came to the decision they want George to teach them to drive his big truck, and everyone has plans to go get a CDL. Everyone but me, because I guess I’m the only one left who hasn’t eaten enough lead paint chips to make such a startling decision. I’m kidding! I’ve eaten plenty of lead paint chips…

“What the hell are y’all talkin’ about?”“What the hell are y’all talkin’ about?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super-proud our kids would want to follow in the family business, but I feel the same way I felt when our daughter told me she was going to be a nurse. Torn. Torn between bursting with pride that she’d want to do what I did, and telling her to run as far and fast as she could away from nursing school. Now that she’s accomplished all that, and looking for a second career, I feel like telling her the same thing about trucking. Then I think about how awesomely cool it would be for us to have a few trucks and our kids running them, and I lose my mind again.

The boy has a pretty good job as a cook, and he likes it. He likes it because he doesn’t have to deal with people much, and he can do his work, unhindered by a bunch of input from folks who aren’t doing it. No one bothers him, as long as the outcome is presentable. Frankly, I think I just described the reason a great number of people are attracted to trucking. But I still couldn’t help but be shocked when he came to us and asked his dad to help him get his CDL.

The conversation went something like this:

Boy: “Dad, I want you to teach me to drive the truck and help me get into the trucking business.”

Me: “What the hell did he just say?”

George: “Well son, it’s a hard job, are you sure you’re ready to do something like that?”

Boy: “I need a career, dad. Cooking is great, but I don’t want to do it my whole life. I don’t want to go to college right now. I think getting my CDL would be a smart thing to do, especially since you have a truck already.”

Me: “What the hell are y’all talking about? You ain’t driving our truck, fool!”

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George: “We’ll go pick up your permit package next week, you and your sister can go ahead and get the study guide for the written test and start with it.”

Boy: “We’ll have to get another bunk in the truck.”

Me: “Where am I gonna sleep?? What the hell are y’all talking about?”

George: “You can’t drive interstate for another year, you’re gonna tarp monkey and park it a lot.”

Boy: “We could hang a hammock in the bunk. Let’s go look at it.”

Me: “What the hell are y’all talking about? I guess I can just flop right down here on the floor and die, and no one will care.”

Boy: “Mom will be OK, won’t she?”

George: “Your mother will be just fine. She needs to process this.”

So here I am, being “fine” and “processing” the idea that by the end of the year, my whole dang family is going to be out traipsing around on the highways, in grave danger of being abducted by aliens and shot at by idiots. I’ll just be over here in the corner, with a fresh bag of lead paint chips…

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