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By Laura Varon Brown, Detroit Free Press Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 20--FLYING THE COOP, DRIVING THE COUPE: I'm known as the worst-case scenario Mom. Anything my daughters even think about doing, I have a newspaper clipping about someone who died doing it. So you can only imagine the household angst as my daughter nears driving age.
Since the Hummer's debut, I figured the giant SUV, a roll of bubble wrap and a helmet would take care of my worries. But tragically, I have newspaper clippings of deaths in just about any car on the road -- even the sturdy Hummer.
As our family headed to the North American International Auto Show Monday, I had no illusion that I can keep my oldest daughter safe from everything -- whether it be driving or doing a back flip on a 4-inch beam.
The biggest hurdle: Should she get a license in the first place? The search for sanity tells me yes. The dream of keeping her 12 years old tells me no. Molly is a high school sophomore, a good student, polite, responsible, a member of a gymnastics team and has terrific friends. When Molly was about 6 years old, my girlfriend told me she would trust Molly with her car keys. She has given driving directions to her grandparents since she was 3. And most importantly, she has yet to say, "I HATE YOU, MOM!" That alone may earn her the privilege.
There was no question I would get my license when I turned 16. My dad thought my friends were great, but flaky (sorry, Kit and Julie) so he wanted to be sure I didn't drive with them. He wanted me in control. He bought me a used 1972 powder blue Ford Mustang. It was one of the coolest days of my life. I'll never forget the look …