Childrearing

Grounded For Life: 13-Year-Old Steals Mom’s BMW & Drives Over 600 Miles

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Listen, I did some crazy things in my teen years. I pulled plenty of stunts to infuriate and worry my parents. Sneaking out of the house on my 16th birthday, throwing a party while they were away on a trip… I was not a perfect angel. But my mom and dad never seemed to stay mad for too long and they generally gave me a punishment, I accepted it, and then we went about our lives.

As a parent, I don’t know that I could be that forgiving if my son was 13-year-old Cole Johnson. This obviously fearless little boy stole his mother’s BMW and credit card with the hopes of driving from Columbus, Ohio to California. He wanted to go skateboarding out there. He even brought a friend along with him.

Amazingly, Cole and Raheem made it over 600 miles in the stolen vehicle. Once Cole’s mother cut off her credit card, the teenagers ran out of gas. They were found asleep in the car in an alley in Kansas City, Missouri.

The good news is that everyone knew where the boys were headed. They posted their plans and whereabouts on Facebook, right down to the end of the road in Missouri. No charges are being pressed against the youngsters, but they will have their parents to contend with. And let me just say, good luck to those parents.

13-years-old is about 8th grade in middle school. These boys haven’t even hit high school yet! If that doesn’t give a parent a general sense of foreboding, I’m not quite sure what will. But honestly, I have no idea how parents and kids bounce back from an experience like that.

My parents were always pretty quick to forgive me, but I was always pretty quick to feel guilty and admit my wrongdoing. There was one memorable incident, that whole “party while they were gone one,” where my parents never actually gave me a punishment. I just kind of grounded myself for over a month because I never asked to leave the house. My mom found the whole thing hysterical.

Maybe Cole should just not ask to do anything for the next year. Would that be compelling enough to forgive a three-state joyride?

And can I just say, how is it that two 13-year-olds drove that many miles without a driving infraction? Or a car accident? What did the people in the lane beside them think? My Heavens.

Of course, everyone is glad the boys are home safely. Obviously, the situation could have been much worse. These are lucky kids. But I don’t know that they’ll feel that way for the next couple years. I have a feeling this little infraction won’t go away too quickly.

(Photo: carroteater/Shutterstock)