I have two teenagers.
In seven months, I'll have three teenagers. In 35 months, I'll have four teenagers.
Usually, my math centers around when they'll be going to college and how much it will cost -- those numbers, of course, are astronomical.
But last Saturday I awoke to the news of a one-car wreck on County Line Road that left 16-year-old Hannah Gilmer dead and 17-year-old Clayton Qualls charged with vehicular homicide, DUI and having an open container of alcohol.
Since then, I've been doing a different sort of math.
I have one child with a driver's license. In 24 months, I'll have two children with a driver's license. In 44 months, I'll have three and so on.
In 10 months, the state of Georgia will recognize one of my teenagers as an adult. In two years, I'll have two legal adults. They'll still be living under my roof, and neither one will have begun college or started training for a career.
They're smart kids, but they'll still have a lot to learn.
Two years after that, I'll have a couple of more kids in the same boat.
Maybe you're thinking that I shouldn't have had so many children. These days, everybody has a lot of advice to give.
For example, plenty of people around town have advice for the parents of the two teenagers in last week's fatal wreck. And plenty of others have wisdom for the parents of the two teenagers charged with evidence tampering off County Line Road.
But most of it ends with this verdict: You have bad kids because you were bad parents.
I suppose this is a natural reaction. If somebody has done something stupid that you've never done, it's easy to pat yourself on the back and pass judgment. Same thing if somebody's kid has done something stupid that your kid has never done.
And for some reason, it's especially easy to pass judgment if you've never had teenagers -- or never had children. Some of the most fervent advice I've ever received about parenting has come from friends without children.
I think one of the worst things that parents can do right now is to think that something like this County Line Road disaster could never happen to them.
Sure, it should be a wake-up call for teenagers to stop drinking, or at least stop drinking and driving.
But a day after it happened, police discovered 26 underage drinkers in a Columbus home playing beer pong. They probably hadn't arranged for their parents to pick them up afterward.
At the least, all of this should be a wake-up call for parents. As real adults with actual life experience, we know that bad things can happen, even to good people. We know our children aren't perfect.
So if you're a parent, stop patting yourself on the back.
Do the math.
Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org