My 20-year-old son lives at home, and we’ve given him a car to drive and provided insurance. He goes to school part-time and works part-time. He is supposed to be wearing glasses per his driver’s license, but he has run out of contacts and won’t wear his glasses b/c they’re “bent”. This could be taken care of easily at the eye doctor’s office, and I’ve also offered to buy him new glasses and/or contacts, but he’s stubborn. Meanwhile, he’s been driving back and forth to school and work. I haven’t thought too much about it being terribly sinful, although I have worried about him. Yesterday I asked him to drive me to the store b/c I was feeling a bit groggy from a supplement I’ve begun taking. But as we were getting into the car I thought about him not wearing glasses. I wondered if it would be a mortal sin for me to ride with him, but then I thought, “No, I surely am being scrupulous because I really don’t think his vision is THAT bad and I don’t believe anyone will be harmed.” He did pretty well driving me there and back and seemed to be able to read most of the signs I asked him to read. Still, the whole time I felt like I might be sinning and/or endorsing sin. After we got home, I really began to think about what if he were in an accident–would insurance cover him? I had a serious talk with him and he agreed that he would order a pair of frames he likes over the internet, and we’d get prescription lenses. My husband and I talked, and we may also just pay for him to have lasik surgery. One way or another, this is going to be taken care of in the very near future. Meanwhile, he’s still driving back and forth to work and school. Am I in a state of mortal sin, or have I just blown this out of proportion? I’ve told my husband I think we should take the car away until he complies, but he thinks I am overreacting.
If he can see just fine without his glasses, then he should get retested for his driver’s license to have the requirement for glasses taken off.
That would solve the whole problem.
Well, he has admitted that he can see cars and stop signs, but they are blurry. He’s also admitted that he wouldn’t feel comfortable going out of town. So I don’t think he could pass the eye test at the license bureau; on the other hand, he’s not Mr. Magoo either (otherwise, there would be no question of him not driving.) Another reason he would not feel comfortable driving out of town is because he has a poor sense of direction–unrelated to his vision–I have the same sense of direction, although I’ve improved over the years with experience.
If he has an accident, and it comes out that the cause of the accident was, even partially, his deficiency in vision, and it also comes out that you knew that he was driving without the required vision correction, you could wind up with a huge financial liability. Forget about “sin or not sin.” If he is living in your house, he’s living by your rules. Grow a backbone and tell him that if he doesn’t wear his glasses, he’s not driving any vehicle that is associated with you in any way.
Is it a macho thing, that he doesn’t like girls to see him wearing glasses?
Veronica, I have read past posts of yours, and I highly recommend you talk to a priest about being scrupulous. With all due respect, you seem to read every minor action as an occasion for sin. Yes, driving without the proper eyewear is reckless, but it is not an occasion for sin if he is not purposefully trying to harm himself and others (especially if he feels that he can see well enough without the eyewear).
Please, please, please understand that every little flaw in life is not a sin. Riding with your son while he is driving without glasses is not a sign to God that you do not value your life. I will pray for you, because this scrupulosity seems to be taking away from the joy that God wants you to have in your life.
I agree. Unfortunately, my husband won’t back me up on this. He says I’m blowing it out of proportion, and meanwhile our son has agreed to get the glasses. Also meanwhile, I have trouble distinguishing when I have committed mortal sin and whether or not something needs to be confessed.
Thank you, Margarete, I so much appreciate your prayers. Yes, I have spoken with my pastor several times about my scrupulosity. He has told me that it is essentially a “trust” issue–that I haven’t learned to trust in God’s Mercy and that God is not waiting for me to “mess up” so He can throw me into Hell. His advice was mainly that I need to pray for more trust in God.
Sin or no sin, here is a more immediate issue:
If your son needs glasses to see clearly and drive then not wearing them when he drives he is putting himself, his passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
Since you are paying for his car, he is living at home… I don’t care if he is 20 or 40…someone has to be adult here and take the keys away from him until he gets new glasses or contacts.
In my opinion, the adult is the room is obviously NOT your husband or your son.
I would hesitate to have the Lasik yet, if he needs glasses to see far objects his prescription will probably change over time as we get older it tends to get better.
Just the opposite of as we get older we start needing glasses to read properly.
What is troublesome is that he could have an accident by not been able to properly gauge the situation a small kid or a small animal. We can never foresee what can happen on the road. He would be in violation of the endorsement in his license and he could have it revoqued which is turn can lead to all kind of legal problems.
I know kids can be hard headed but sometimes we just have to be harder headed yet!
Since your husband refuses to be an adult about it, take the initiative on your own and bring a law enforcement officer in to talk to your son. If an actual traffic stop could be arranged, that would have an ever greater impact, but that’s not always doable.
Whether or not it was a sin you didn’t intend to commit a sin therefore you didn’t.
Thank you, all. My husband and I had a big argument :(, but he finally agreed to lay down the law with our son. I prayed to the Blessed Mother that she would send graces into my home to help with this situation. Our son agreed to wear the glasses he already has and keep them in his car at all times, and we agreed to buy him a new pair he likes better. Praise God!!
This guy should not be driving.
Take the keys away from him and do not let him drive again until his sight is fixed!
How are you going to feel if he has a serious accident!
Sorry but I’m amazed you’re wondering if there is sin here or not on your part, and completely ignoring the fact your son is driving and can not see properly.
Ignore my previous post :o
I feel so awful and selfish. Perhaps that is the sin that needs confessed. My husband became so emotionally distraught last night when I brought up the subject, that I backed off and was prepared to let it go (he’s under a tremendous amount of stress at work and home and my ocd/scruples is one of the stressors, unfortunately.) But my conscience kept nagging at me, and I brought it up again today. Finally he agreed to back me up. It went much better than expected thanks to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
I’m glad it’s all ok now.
I posted when I read the original post, and hadn’t got to your update about your son agreeing to wear his old glasses until his new frames arrive.
I have a friend who has one eye.
She lost her eye in a wreck when she was hit by a driver who should have been wearing glasses but wasn’t.
He needed them for driving, forgot them, but figured since it was only a few hundred yards to the store, he’d be fine.
My friend has to live without the sight in one eye for the rest of her life as a result.
That’s why I asked you to imagine how you would feel if he was in an accident, and you knew he shouldn’t be driving without those glasses.
I’m glad you got things sorted out.
That’s awful. I’d rather not take even a slight chance of something bad happening.
[size=]Okay, now that this situation is taken care of (my son is now wearing the glasses for driving and I am MUCH [/size]relieved), there still remains the fact that I am scared that I have mortally sinned. While driving me to the store, my son told me he could see cars and stoplights but they were blurry. I thought he did a pretty good job of driving though. We came out of the store and I thought, “Maybe I should drive this time.” But I thought, “No, you’re being scrupulous again. He just did a pretty good job of driving–I don’t think anyone is going to be in immediate danger.” On the way home, he seemed to be able to read the signs that I asked him to read. But after I got home, I began to think more about liability and whether we would be covered under insurance if anyone were harmed due to him having an accident. I began to think about the catechism and how this might have been “driving recklessly”. On Sunday I debated about whether to go to communion or not, and I decided to go, reasoning that since I am scrupulous, and I had doubts about whether or not I had mortally sinned, that I should receive. I also reasoned that this might be grave matter, but I didn’t think I had full knowledge at the time–since I was thinking at the time that I didn’t think anyone was in grave danger. I want to trust my rational mind, but my ocd makes me worry about receiving the Eucharist unworthily. What do you think?
I think, don’t ask the Internet. Talk to your Spiritual Director. He is the only one who can help you with this sort of thing.