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Several weeks ago, the inevitable happened to us.  My 16 year old son got his driver’s license.  Much to my horror, I signed the temporary permit and he shot across the street to show his still-dripping ticket to freedom to his mother (who was visiting the neighbor).  I immediately called the insurance company to add him to our policy and nearly fell over when they told me the new rate. Alas, 16 year old male, newly minted and highly inexperienced means that you will pay through the nose.

He did not even have to ask, as I handed him the keys to the “toaster”, a boxy looking black Honda Element.  He stated his desire to visit Max, his friend, so off he went.  Unbeknownst to him, I was watching, well tracking really.  His mother and I immediately launched the Find Iphone app on my Ipad and watched his progression, not to Max’s, but to Jacob’s house first.  We refreshed every three seconds to make sure he was okay like some expectant father, and worried ourselves sick until he returned home an hour later.  When asked about his circuitous routing to Max’s house via Jacob’s, he looked puzzled, perplexed like a deer in the headlights. “How did you know where I was?”, “Dad knows a lot of things, sonny boy”.  I left it like that until his curiosity got the better of him an hour later and he quizzed me on my knowledge. I confirmed his guess when he stated that it was his new Iphone that gave it away, but I did not reveal details, only to say that we were watching his every move and would be on of him like stink on a gorilla.

This past week was Spring Break, so Moxie and I bundled our four kids, two friends and a dog into the venerable Toaster and the Suburban for a few days of R & R in the mountains.  At one point, we split off as she wanted to go shopping while my only desire was to return to our friend’s cabin where the luxury of an indoor pool beckoned alongside a cold Chardonnay.  Well, Moxie is a smart girl, but directionally challenged, especially in the Toaster as it lacks any creature comforts nor a GPS unit.  She is, as I said, a smart girl, and used the Find Iphone app again to track my position at the cabin so she could find her way home, well done Moxie!

Last night was the epitome of the App’s usefulness as Nick had to drive me to the airport.  I made him repeat the directions of how to get home; stay in the right lane, North sonny boy, etc.  So it was quite a surprise when I was disrobing for the TSA at our local airport that he called me in tears and proclaimed that he was lost, missed the exit and had done the right thing by pulling over and calling dad.  I immediately activated the mighty “Find” app, instructed him on how to proceed and re-assured him that I was going to follow his progress.

Wouldn’t you know it, in those next few minutes where the fearsome agents defending our nation’s airports strip me of phone, wallet and dignity was when he failed in an epic fashion.  Heading south instead of north, our swashbuckling youth was off on another adventure.  I did not call him, as he has been instructed not to talk or text while driving, but waited impatiently for his next plea for help.  When he did call, I advised him that he was once again heading to Disney World, and needed to proceed North.  Several agonizing minutes later, he called again with an update.  I asked if he was headed north or not, to which he had no clue.  “Is the sun in the left or right window?” I asked as it was 5:00 pm.  He answered correctly that it was in his left window and I reminded him of his compass bearings.

I eased myself into the delights of a five hour flight relieved in the knowledge that my son was home safe and sound.