Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Mom, can I have the van?"

My 16-year-old just got his drivers license. I tried to delay the process as long as possible and bought myself a few weeks but could only go so far continuing to tell him that his replacement social security card had not yet arrived in the mail! So I bit the bullet and we accomplished this milestone this morning. Then went to my insurance agent to have him covered. I am excited, proud and happy for him but at the same time looking at our situation realistically. Our main vehicle is a van with just over 100,000 miles on it. If something happens to it, I would not receive enough money from the insurance to get a replacement; nor do I have the means to be able to get a new vehicle. This van is it - I rely on it for all of our transportation and without it would not be able to survive here in the suburbs. Or, get to a job.

And of course, my son now thinks he can have the van to go out socializing with his friends. I am not looking forward to this next phase of adolescence. My son needs to realize that our vehicle is our lifeblood right now - a necessity, not a luxury. I do feel bad that this is another hardship my son needs to acknowledge. If my husband were still alive, or I was still married, the financial concerns I have wouldn't exist.

As we drove home, I passed the home of a mom I know who was out gardening. She lives in a nice home with her three nice kids and nice husband. The thought flashed through my mind that she sure isn't dealing with any of the worries on my plate right now. I know when I bring this kind of observation up I always hear back, "You don't know what is going on behind other houses" and all that kind of stuff. Yes, that is true. But I do not think that this woman is fretting about what will happen if her teen crashes the only vehicle they have. She may have some troubles or concerns but I'm pretty certain they're not on the same intensity as mine - and in any case she has a husband with whom to share her issues. A bit of resentment flowed through my veins as we drove by. And then we got home and I had to deal with my son already asking for the van...

Today I am grateful:

1. That my son got his drivers license.
2. That my son is a good driver.
3. That my son got a perfect score on his drivers license test (very rare).
4. That both my sons are pretty great kids.
5. That there weren't long lines at the drivers license facility.

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