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The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

June 16, 2008

by Jen Bakken

You know the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?”

Well, my oldest son recently proved just how true that saying can be.

As a new teenage driver, I repeatedly locked my keys in my car. Even when I was in my 20s, I still continually made this mistake.

For awhile, my grandparents had a key to my car so that they could come to the rescue the next time it happened.

Dear ol’ grandma used to tell me, I should put my keys on a chain and wear them around my neck.

She’d say, “You know, Jennifer – you would lose your head if it wasn’t attached!”

One time, I took my younger brother to a North Stars hockey game. We were so excited to go the game. It was the year the North Stars were going to leave Minnesota, and we wanted one last chance to see them play in a state we didn’t think they should ever leave.

Driving my dad’s car, we arrived at the old Met Center early, and rushed in to catch a glimpse of warm-ups. The North Stars were in the playoffs, and about to play one of their last home games in Minnesota

We watched the team win, and my brother thinks he remembers the North Stars scoring four goals in the first period. Neither of us can remember who they played against, but we do remember what happened after the game.

We walked outside of the Met Center, excited about the North Stars’ win, but angry about Norm Green taking our beloved hockey team away from us. It was bittersweet.

Digging in my purse, I was unable to find the car keys, and realized I had locked them inside the car.

Back then, there was a truck that would drive around the Met Center parking lot making sure everyone left safely. We sat on the hood of my dad’s car to wait for the truck to come our way.

As I sat on the hood, I looked at my little brother with horror in my eyes and said, “Oh no! The car is still running!”

Not only had I locked the keys in the car, but I had never turned the car off. There the car sat, running through an entire hockey game.

Luckily, the rescue truck came our way, and was able to help us. This story has been a favorite among family members, and has been used many times to embarrass me.

With that event in mind, this past week, my son’s experiences should not have surprised me, for the simple fact that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

My 18-year-old locked his keys in his car, and on the day of his graduation party, a friend of the family came to his aid.

Once the doors were unlocked however, the keys were nowhere in sight.

Apparently, the extra set of keys were also missing. He started with four sets of keys for his car, and was down to zero.

The Ford dealership informed us it is unable to cut keys for any car older than 1999, and since his is three years older than that, we were out of luck.

Omberg’s Lock Service came to the rescue, and $175 later, we had keys again.

I took those keys to Delano True Value, had three more sets made, and purchased a magnet to hold one on the exterior of his car.

Next, I received a phone call announcing my son’s cell phone was left at someone’s house the day before. Not only had he lost all keys to his car, but his phone went missing at the same time.

I could barely contain my irritation, but really, what could I say? He hopefully learned a very expensive lesson. Now, my only worry is about him going away to college. What will he forget there? What will he lose there?

I must admit, as a mother who is not quite ready to let her son leave, I somewhat enjoyed him still needing me.

My dad offered some advice, “Well, I don’t keep anything of value in my car, and never have locked it. Then, I can’t lock my keys inside anymore.”

After this advice, his mother (my grandmother) told a story about locking her keys in the car.

We are four generations who have a horrible history with keys. Four generations who strongly prove the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.