An Exasperated Mother


THE BACKSTORY

My son became a legal adult last summer. Yep. He turned 18 just before he entered his last year of high-school. So that means I have a dependent child (still a student) living under my roof (which I love) and living by our rules (which he does). It also means that I have a fiercely independent new adult flexing his “I’m an adult now” muscles at us at every corner, and this week he sucker-punched me right in the face with those muscles.

As a show of good faith in his ability to be responsibile, and wanting him to have a safe, reliable vehicle, my husband and I offered to sell our very nice 2008 Chrysler 300 to our son at a discounted price. The deal (which he graciously and enthusiastically accepted) was to pay a certain amount every paycheck (he works after school each day) until the car was paid off – about 18 months of payments. It’s been six months to date, and there have been several times that I have had to front him money until payday just to make sure he had gas in his car. I figured he is still learning to budget, and even though I complained about it each time he asked, I loaned him the few dollars and tacked it onto his “bill”.

After Christmas, he bagan his final semester in high school. He had enough credits to be able to move any remaining classes to mornings, so he could start working full-time at his job, starting earlier each day. Well,this semester has been the beginning of my nightmare as a mother.

THE PHONE CALL

I’m in Florida right now on a self-imposed writing retreat – nothing special, just spending time at my Dad’s putting all of my focus into honing my craft. This was to be three weeks set aside for me to clear my head of all the daily distractions and get my head into my writing. I wasn’t off the plane for three hours before getting a call from my husband saying that my son was at a car dealership working out a deal to purchase a much newer, much more expensive, and much faster 2014 Ford Mustang. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach and it’s been there ever since. Did I mention that I came to sunny Florida from the notoriously cold and snowy Alberta, Canada? A Mustang? In the middle of winter in Alberta? OMG!

MY ARGUMENT

I immediately got on the phone with my son and explained to him ALL of the very valid, logical, reasonable arguments as to why he should NOT buy a vehicle. In a nutshell, here they are:

  • – You already have a very nice, cool-looking vehicle.
  • – You only have another year of payments and it will be completely paid off.
  • – Muscle cars are not reliable vehicles in the snow.
  • – You’re still a new driver. Your insurance is high enough on the 300. It’s going to be rediculous on a Mustang.
  • – You still owe us money on the 300. You won’t be able to manage payments for two vehicles.
  • – You also have insurance, phone, martial arts and gas expenses every month. You won’t be able to afford a hamburger by the time your bills are paid. Oh, and don’t think you’re going to be living scott-free in our basement for the next six years while you pay off a Mustang. Room and board will be added to that list of expenses once you’re done school.
  • – The Mustang doesn’t include new winter tires. If you drive this car in the winter without winter tires, and you happen to have an accident, I don’t think your insurance will cover you. Winter tires are now mandatory. You don’t have enough money set aside for winter tires, do you?
  • – The economy in Alberta is expected to take a dive because we are an “oil” province. What if you happen to get laid off? You won’t be able to make payments and the car will be repossessed and you’ll have no transportation.

All valid arguments, correct? Of course!

You would think that would be the end of the story, right? You are so wrong…

HIS ARGUMENT

–  “I’m an adult now, and I thought about this carefully. I know I can afford it. I want to be independent and prove I can do this on my own. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the car I already have, I just want to be a mature, responsibly, independent adult and do this myself. You raised me to be that way.”

He also said he will be getting enough cash back on the trade in to pay us the remainder of what he owes us for the 300, so he’ll only have one (larger) monthly car payment.

Oh, and that winter tire problem…not a problem at all. He’s putting some cinder-blocks in the trunk to give the seasonal tires more traction.

This blog post could be about a mother who is so proud of the way she raised her children to be independent, focused, and determined young adults (all of which my son is, obviously). But, no – it’s about a mother who is furious and frustrated by the stupidity, selfishness and stubbornness being displayed by her child, who is trying desperately to disguise these qualities as something great “she instilled in him”.

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

My son ignored all of our arguments and advice. He made the deal with the devi…um…salesman. Car salesmen, by the way, do not have the heart of a mother when they are selling a dangerous vehicle to a brand new driver who just started receiving a full-time income in an unsure economy. Car salesmen will not lose sleep everynight knowing that the person to whom they just sold said vehicle has just tied a two-tonne financial noose around his neck. Car salesmen do not love the young man to whom they sold this vehicle so much so that they are knowingly going to be, once again, unfriended on Facebook for pulling a “d-bag move” by posting this blog post on Facebook for all to see. But this car salesman isn’t my son’s mother, who loves her son more than life itself. I know he’ll hate me. I’ll no longer be considered a friend. His real friends will be riding in the passenger seats of his new car. I’ll now just be a mean mom. But if that means doing everything in my power to ensure my son makes the best decisions for his overall well-being, then that’s the chance I must take. Just call me “Mean Mom”, I guess.

I considered not posting this to my Facebook page, but I want there to be NO misunderstandings about this when everyone notices my son driving around in his new car…I did NOT condone the purchase, and I DID do everything in my power to dis-sway him from getting it. I don’t want his decision to reflect on me…as an indifferent, uncaring mother.

That said, I hope to God he proves me wrong. Now that the deal is done, I have no choice but to keep my fingers crossed and to hope with cautious optimism that my son can get through the next six years “proving me wrong”. I will gladly eat my words if that can be the case.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “An Exasperated Mother

  1. Oh sweet momma. I understand. My parenting week from hell was with a 15 year old daughter. Different situations, same pain. Being a mom truly IS the hardest job I’ve ever had.

    Big LOVE and totally jealous you’re writing in Florida!!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry about your week, Kim, but I’m glad you understand. I’m sad because I feel like my relationship with my son has changed because of this. I don’t know how to relate to him right now because I feel my advice, my suggestions, my “mothering” has no value to him…it’s just noise – and that hurts. Maybe I just need to chill, and trust him to succeed. Oye! So listen, pretty lady, I know we’ve been trying to get together. I promise to make that a priority once I’m home at the end of the month. In the meantime, all the best to you. Cheers!

      Like

  2. Oh boy Kelly. I remember my 16 year old son coming home and telling me he was going to buy a charger with a nitrous kit on it. I just about had a heart attack. We did talk him out of it. And he bought another very nice car but it wasn’t the one he wanted so of course he hated that car. But it got him wherever he wanted to go until he wrote it off. No one was injured in his accident thank goodness. I can only imagine how bad it could have been with a more powerful car. So then he was without wheels wishing he had his old car back. He is grown now with 2 sons who drive and thankful we stuck to our guns about the more practical “slower” car. But you can only do what you can do especially when they are adults. But we will always be a mother to them no matter their age. Lots love Carol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Kelly

    My lovely 30year old step son who is so furiously independent did a boner. He does have a really good job but still needed daddy to co sign his new car loan in Leduc for a very nice new SUV. Excellent for winter driving and much nicer than ours. But he has very bad credit and a student loan that he never pays off. His refund on his income tax is taken yearly by the govt as a payment. So he gets his new SUV. The dealership has a contest for anyone who buys a car etc in a certain period can win a car. ( amount up to $40,000.00) HE WINS!!!! His SUV he paid is $39,000.00
    Now the story goes on. He has the money to pay off the new SUV. We are in Mexico and he writes. Of course we are all excited for him but then he tells us no he is not paying off the SUV. Using the money for other things. But Matt is still co-signed. He calls us and we tell him please pay of off and all the reasons. Your dad is responsible if you do not pay. He says ” I make more money than you and dad have ever made and I will do what I want”…Nice eh! Thanks for co-signing the loan.

    Like

    1. Oh my goodness, Matt and April! I never had any idea when I was reading your comments that it was you! And…are you serious?That’s much worse than my story. My son is still a child at heart; not mature enough to put reason above want. But Matt’s son is a big-ass man, and to do something so inconsiderate and irresponsible to you two. I really hope you two don’t get severely financially burned. My son is now accusing me of not having any faith in him. I explained that is neither here nor there. There are so many things that can happen that are beyond his control to devastate him financially. It’s tough to say “no”. It’s tough to decide to do what’s for their best interest, knowing they will resent you. But it’s selfish if I consider condoning this BECAUSE I don’t want him to be mad at me…Then it becomes not about HIM but about ME. (I watch too much Dr. Phil). Well thank you for reading my blog. Do you have a blog, as well? I’ll have to check it out. Brad will be joining me here in Florida tomorrow and we will be staying with Trude in Clearwater for a week. I’ll send along your greetings. You take care of yourself. Cheers!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s