This one has rolled around in my head for a while. It means a lot to me. "Drive" by Alan Jackson. I own none of these characters.


Clark ran out of the house towards the barn, flying as fast as his little legs would move. Of course, even for a ten year old Clark Kent, that was pretty dang fast.

Skidding to a stop in the middle of the barn, his jaw dropped. His dad was standing next to an old two seater john boat. "Wowwwwwwwwwww!"

Jonathan looked up to see his son gawking and had to laugh. "So what do you think of her?"

Clark ran his hand over the edge, a big smile crossing his face. "It's awesome dad. Where'd you get it?"

"Ben Wade down the road made me an offer. He paid me twenty bucks to take it off his hands," Jonathan told him, winking at his son.

It was painted red the stripe was white
It was eighteen feet from the bow to the stern light
Secondhand from a dealer in Atlanta
I rode up with daddy when he went there to get her

Jonathan moved around, putting his arm around his son's shoulders. Clark's arm went around his dads back. He wasn't as tall as his dad yet, but everyone knew he'd soon reach him. "I thought it would be fun for us to work on it together. What do you say? We can take it down to Hob's pond when we're done."

Clark beamed up at him. "That's awesome dad! Can we start now? Can we?"

Jonathan ruffled his son's hair. Kissing the top of his head, he walked back to the bench, tossing Clark a sander brush. "Let's get it smoothed out."

We put on a shine; put on a motor
Built out of love, made for the water
Ran her for years, 'til the transom got rotten
A piece of my childhood that will never be forgotten

Clark was running out to the barn after he got home from school. His mom had made him come in for a snack. She said growing boys need to keep well fed. After wolfing down his sandwich and milk he hurried to the barn so they could keep working on the boat.

"Damn it."

Clark's mouth went wide as he stopped short in the door to the barn. He saw his dad rubbing his knuckles, the motor they were putting on the boat hanging off the engine lift dolly sideways.

Jonathan saw his son gaping like a newly caught bass, and sighed. "We don't have to let your mother know about that little slip up son."

Clark walked up to his father. "What happened?"

"The bolt on the chain hold broke, so we can't keep the motor upright long enough to bolt it into place." Jonathan started to push the dolly away. "I'll see if I can't find a replacement bolt when I go into town in a couple of days for supplies."

Clark looked heartbroken. Two more days? He couldn't wait that long to fix the boat. Biting his lip, he walked over to the dolly and lifted the motor easily with both hands. Walking to the back of the boat, he lifted it into place, the bolt plate fitting the slots in the back bracing of the boat. "Hey dad, how about now?"

Jonathan turned to see his son and it was his turn to mimic a fish out of water. "Clark! Be careful, you'll hurt yourself!" He ran over, trying to take the motor from his young son.

But Clark wasn't budging. "It's fine dad, just bolt it into place. It's easy for me to hold up."

Jonathan looked at his son for a moment more before shrugging his shoulders. He walked over to get his tools and a few minutes later they had a fully mounted motor in place. Patting his son on the shoulder, Jonathan realized things were changing even more than he had prepared himself for. And that just pushed him to get this boat ready faster.


Clark was laughing out loud, sitting at the front of the old boat as they cut over the water easily. Jonathan smiled as he saw his son having fun, thankful he had taken the man up on his offer to buy the boat. It might mean tightening his belt some over the next few months, but it was well worth it.

Clark was leaning over, running his hand over the wake as it splashed off the worn bottom of the boat.

Rubbing his chin, Jonathan slowed the boat to a stop. "Clark, come here son."

Clark moved carefully over the cooler in the middle. Jonathan held his shoulders as he himself moved, sitting on the cooler. "Have a seat son."

Clark looked confused, staring from his dad to the back seat… then his eyes went wide. "You… you mean…?"

Jonathan pressed a finger to his lips. "This is another one of those things we don't have to tell your mother about right away, ok?"

Clark just nodded as he sat in the seat, listening to his father tell him how to start it up. Clark was amazed by the power the little engine had as he held the handle to rev the throttle.

After a few jerky starts and stops, Clark was guiding them around the pond with ease.

It was just on old plywood boat
With a '75 Johnson with electric choke
A young boy two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel

Clark was getting more comfortable with the controls. Deciding to try something he had seen on TV, he turned the motor to the side quickly, revving the throttle.

And I would turn her sharp
And I would make her whine
He'd say, "you can't beat the way an old wood boat rides"

Jonathan tried to grab the edge of the boat so he wouldn't fly out. Clark was up in a flash, grabbing his dad by the back of the shirt and pulling him back into the boat.

Once he was over his sudden bout of nausea, Jonathan turned to give Clark the standard talking to about being careful with anything that had an engine. But he could see Clark was already reprimanding himself. The boy looked terrified that he was in trouble now.

Jonathan could only smile, remembering times he felt like that with his own father. "Clark… that was dangerous you know. You know you need to be careful, right?"

Clark just nodded, still looking down at the floor.

Jonathan patted him on the arm. "Boats can be a lot of fun. But you know what else can be fun out here?"

Clark looked up at his father, a questioning look on his face.

Jonathan stood up… and stepped off the boat, hitting the water with a big splash. He came up a few moments later, smiling. "It's fun to fall out every now and then."

Clark grinned the trademark Kent grin before cannon balling into the water next to his dad.

Just a little lake across the Alabama line
But I was king of the ocean
When daddy let me drive


Just an old half ton shortbed ford
My uncle bought new in '64
Daddy got it right 'cause the engine was smoking
A couple of burnt valves and he had it going

"Is that the last of it Clark?" Jonathan asked, pulling his gloves off.

Clark stood up from behind the truck, tossing in an armload of metal scrap into the back of the truck. "Yes sir, that's it."

Jonathan leaned against the truck, his hands fiddling with the old work gloves. His son was getting more grown everyday. Clark was now nearly as tall as he was. He started 9th grade in a few days, and he couldn't easily accept the fact his son was going to be in high school now. Jonathan fished the keys out of his jeans and went to climb into the truck when he stopped, staring at the worn key fob. "Hey Clark?"

Clark looked up from the passenger's side door. "Yea dad?"

Jonathan didn't say a word. He just tossed the keys over the hood of the truck, watching Clark catch them with ease.

Clark was smiling as wide as the barn door itself when he realized what his dad was saying. "Really?"

Jonathan nodded, walking around the front of the truck. "Now, you know this…"

"Yes sir, we don't tell mom about this kind of stuff!" Clark sped around the truck, in the driver's seat before Jonathan even opened the other door.

"Alright Clark, now remember to hold the clutch in, and the shift is on the column…"

"I know dad, I've seen you do it a thousand times."

He let me drive her when we'd haul off a load
Down a dirt strip where we'd dump trash off of Thigpen Road
I'd sit up in the seat and stretch my feet out to the pedals
Smiling like a hero that just received his medal

Clark had to restart the truck a few times after he stalled it out, and they both ducked below the dash when Martha drove down the driveway towards the house. Laughing, Jonathan told him to try it again.

Clark was soon driving smoothly down the old back country road, revving the engine now and then, laughing as the truck lurched.

It was just an old hand-me-down Ford
With a three-speed on the column and a dent in the door
A young boy two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel

When they got to the scrap yard, Jonathan had to remind Clark not to go into super speed to unload the truck. There were others here unloading scrap too.

He noticed Clark still slipped a few pieces in pretty quickly when no one was looking in their direction.

"Come on dad, let's go!" Clark was already back behind the wheel before Jonathan dropped the last piece.

Going in reverse took a few tries to get just right, but Clark found his groove and showed off a little bit by going down the road backwards a good ways.

And I would press that clutch
And I would keep it right
And he'd say, "a little slower son you're doing just fine"

When they were about to reach the farm, Jonathan glanced over to Clark again, noticing he seemed a lot less excited. "Clark? Something wrong son?"

Clark just glanced from the road over to his dad… then the steering wheel… but didn't say anything.

Jonathan understood though. "You know, I guess we need to check the back fence line. We haven't been out there in a few months really, have we?"

Just a dirt road with trash on each side
But I was Mario Andretti
When daddy let me drive

Jonathan regretted the decision for a moment when Clark took his first off road detour in the old farm truck… but it was only for a moment. He wouldn't trade the look on his son's face for anything. Clapping his hand on Clark's shoulder, Jonathan smiled, worried about when these moments would stop coming up for them.

But he pushed that feeling aside and just let his son drive.


I'm grown up now three daughters of my own
I let them drive my old Jeep across the pasture at our home
Maybe one day they'll reach back in their file
And pull out that old memory
And think of me and smile and say

"Lanie…LANIE! Watch out for the tree!" Clark's hand gripped the roof of the truck so tightly he knew there was a dent there now.

His daughter moved around the tree easily. "Sheesh dad, chill out. I've got this totally under control, ok?"

"Lanie Erica Kent, watch the attitude. I swear you get more like your mom everyday." Clark visibly relaxed slightly, letting go of the door.

"Who do you think has been teaching me when you have to run back to Metropolis?" his daughter asked, smirking sweetly over at him.

Oh god, his daughter could even smirk. This was too much. When she turned thirteen, he knew he was in trouble, but he never expected it to be this bad. "I knew she was up to something."

Lanie grinned. "She was driving HUMVEES when she was twelve dad. She can teach me to drive a three on the tree."

Clark sighed, glancing over at his daughter. She was in jeans and a flannel over shirt, much to her mother's feigned horror when her daughter had shown an affinity for plaid. Her hair was long and dark, but had a curl in it that had to come from her dad's shaggy hair.

Letting her drive around in silence, Clark looked around the farmland. He remembered working this land years ago with his dad and driving out in this very field the first day his dad let him drive the truck.

It was just an old worn out Jeep
Rusty old floorboard, hot on my feet
A young girl two hands on the wheel
I can't replace the way it made me feel

Things had changed soon after tough it seemed, and this wasn't their farm land anymore. Various neighbors bought it when Clark had moved to Metropolis to start working at the Daily Planet. Clark had refused to let the house and barn go though. That was their family's house, and he wasn't going to let it all disappear on his watch.

"Let's go home. I'm sure grandma has something whipped up for lunch by now."

At the mention of her grandmother's home cooking, Lanie downshifted, flooring the accelerator and spinning the truck around before shifting again, taking off back down the fence line. She chanced a glance over at her dad, and burst out laughing when she saw his glare.

"Too much like your mother, I swear you women are going to drive me crazy."

And he'd say, "turn it left and steer it right,
Straighten up girl, you're doing just fine"

"Pull in over by the barn Lanie." Clark undid his seat belt when they stopped and opened his door. Or at least he tried. He sighed, reaching up to undo the dent he put in the frame so he could get the door open. "Lanie, you need to be more…"

His daughter ran up to him, her arms around his neck as she kissed his cheek. "Thank you daddy."

Just a little valley by the river where we'd ride
But I was high on a mountain
When daddy let me drive

Clark sighed, looking down at his little girl. "You're welcome sweety." He hugged her tight against his chest, worrying about how many more of these moments he would have with her. "Love you kiddo."

"Yeesh dad, learn some new lingo." Lanie turned, walking up to the porch where her grandmother and mom sat.

Clark walked up, smiling at his wife. Lois had their little boy balanced on her knee, bouncing him slightly as she and Martha talked.

Lanie scooped up her brother, holding him up and flying him around. "You wanna go for a ride Jerry?"

Clark crossed his arms. "You are not taking your four year old brother in the truck Lanie. No way."

She sighed. "Fine."

Jerry leaned in whispering something in her ear and Lanie laughed. "Sure thing kiddo." She gave him a high five.

It was Lois's turn to stand up. "Jerome Thomas Kent, do not ask your sister to sneak you off for a ride!"

Jerry pouted. "Ok."

Lanie set him down on the porch, sitting next to him. "Sheesh and I thought dad had the super ears in the family."

Clark slipped up behind Lois, his arms going around her. "Your mom has something even more potent… mom ears. Grandma still has them too, I could never get away with anything."

Martha scoffed. "Oh please Clark. I let you and your father get away with plenty. Did you think you two could hide behind that little dashboard that day in the driveway?"

Clark's jaw dropped. "You knew?"

"Of course I did dear. Mothers know everything." Martha winked at her son.

Lois turned, punching her husband in the shoulder lightly. "Yea Smallville, didn't you know that?"

"Lois, we talked about this. Stop calling me that in front of the kids. Lanie wouldn't call me daddy until she was six."

Lois just laughed, sitting down with her kids on the porch. "Clark, just shush and get the truck keys. Someone else wanted to go for a ride around the farm today."

Clark looked over at his mom. "Alright mom, let's go." He pulled the keys out of his pocket.

Martha shook her head. "Not me sweety. Your original partner in crime wants to return to the scene of the crime."

Clark smiled, turning to the barn. "Hey dad, you ready?"

Jonathan Kent walked out of his workshop, wiping his hands on an old rag. It was one of the weekends he took off from the State Senate, taking time to be with his family. "Sure am. I've been looking forward to this all week." He walked up to his son, putting an arm around his shoulders as he ruffled his hair slightly. "But I'm driving." He slapped the bottom of Clark's hand, catching the keys when they flew up in the air.

Clark laughed, chasing after his dad back towards the truck. "Come on dad, that's no fair! I didn't get to drive with Lanie either!"

When daddy let me drive

Jonathan stopped, sighing. "Well…"

Oh he let me drive

Clark put on his best puppy dog look, the one that always worked on Lois and his mom.

Daddy let me drive

Jonathan burst out laughing, pointing at his son. "Ohhh no! I invented that look, it doesn't work on me."

Clark didn't stop though. He looked down at the ground, kicking the toe of his boot against a rock.

Jonathan sighed. "Fine. You can drive." He handed the keys to his son. "Never should have taught you that face."

"Yea well you did. And you know what?" Clark asked, climbing into the driver's seat. "Thanks dad."

Jonathan looked back at his son, smiling. He knew he wasn't just talking about letting him drive today. "You're welcome son."

It's just an old plywood boat
With a '75 Johnson with electric choke