Yesterday felt like a Wednesday.
But since I thought it was, my Thursday carpools just weren’t at the front of my brain. Until the phone call from school that I had forgotten one of my loads. This spurred conversation from the one I had remembered to pick up … the kid who is at the cusp of a driver’s permit.
“So you forgot to pick up the others?” he said as I hung up and told him we needed to race over and grab the forgotten brood.
“No wonder you were first in my line! I was really excited that you were on time.” He said as if I’m ever more than five minutes late. I mean really. I still shake my head at the fact that a kid could be miffed by their sometimes tardy luxury limousine rides to and from school. Rides that often pit stop at 7-11 or Starbucks for refreshment at then end of their brainy days. There’s a city bus stop right next to both of their schools and one at the end of our street. Maybe they need to taste mass transit for a while.
“I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I’m late to your school.”
“Well you are.”
“By 5 minutes. …. Sometimes.”
“That’s why it will be great when I get my car.”
Here we go again. “What kind of car?”
“Oh.. I don’t know.”
“And how exactly are you going to buy a car when you keep spending you money on things you want now?”
“Well … you’re giving me a car.”
“No we’re not. You keep holding out hope for something that’s just not going to happen. There’s reality involved here.”
“Yeah … I’m holding out. How am I supposed to get a job when I work all day doing school stuff. (He’s right. It’s almost from sun up until sun down. But there’s summer!) I’m pretty sure you’ll give it to me.”
Now I’m mad. Of course he’s baiting me. And I always bite. The sure things in his life? God loves him and his mother will 100% percent of the time take his bait. “WE ARE NOT GIVING YOU A CAR. Why would we ever do that?”
“Did you buy your car?!” He pointedly asks?
“That’s not the point!”
“I couldn’t hear you.”
“Okay. So no.”
“See. You were given a car.”
“That’s not the point.” I assert.
“Well….. ” searching brain for logical argument.
“I’m pretty sure Dad’s the one who should be talking to me about this.”
I wonder if the kid gets tired of being right. My cush childhood probably does lack a bit of credibility in my “do” and “buy it yourself” standard. Good thing Jon’s involved. He was not only never given a car, but didn’t even drive until late in college when he bought a used Toyota Turcell.
Darn that school that is teaching the kid to think and argue logically. He’s lucky I donated all my good brain cells to him and his siblings. Hmmm… does he grasp my generosity? Does he consider the fact that some of his quick wit just might originate with me? (Okay, so probably from his dad; but it could be me.) Do brain cells come back? Someday?
Thanks for walking the road with me.
I'm so right with you, Kay! On the car deal…I've heard/read two compromise solutions to the car buying dilemma (something we are also facing in the same time frame as you are). The first is that I've heard about parents matching the funds that their kids save. The second I may have read at Focus On the Family (not sure). The dad in the family knew that there was no way that his daughter would be able to save up enough in a reasonable time to buy a car that the dad would feel safe about her driving. So, he bought her the car, but she couldn't drive it unless she had the money to fill up the gas tank. I love walking the road with you…it's a lot less lonely that way :-) God bless!
LOVE walking the road with you, too. And the great ideas. Thanks for sharing. I think the car story just might have been one posted by Lisa Clark: "Table Talk: It's Summer!!! Time to … WORK???!!". (link: https://www.themoatblog.com/moatblog/2011/6/8/table-talk-its-summer-time-to-work-by-lisa-clark.html).
It's such a great idea. I hope a big load of clarity comes before our family actually cross the driving road with this kid. I'm so glad to not be walking it alone!
Kay, I am exactly where you are. When I got a new car this summer, my son was hoping we would keep the old car to "give" to him. I didn't want to, we traded it in. I felt if we gave him a car, then when anything goes wrong with it, we will be fixing it and I want him to take ownership. Also, isn't the whole idea of you guys giving your son a car why you started MOAT? I love reading this. The Baylor girls who knew you in Collins and rode in your college car, love these stories. We discuss you over coffee and love how you are articulating so well what we are feeling. My 10th grader gets to read your blog as well as it often reinforces our latest discussions. Keep walking and driving the road!