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What we do for our kids...
Old 10-14-2017, 10:03 AM   #1
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What we do for our kids...

The freshman rolled around 9PM last night, girlfriend in tow, ready to go to an amusement park with his older sister and her boyfriend on Saturday morning. Thereís some kind of Halloween theme there - no doubt Ďspooksí will be jumping out at you. While they are enjoying the Park Iíll be sitting in the Honda dealer getting and oil change and inspection for his car, my former old jalopy, a 2005 Honda CRV with 122,000 miles on it. I call my old gal a parking lot queen as it does a lot of sitting. The older I get the more I donít mind waiting I see it as an opportunity to read or write.

This dreary Saturday morning starts poorly, I get in the car and immediately notice just how dirty the interior of this car is. Paper on the floor, dust everywhere and nasty stuff in the cup holders. I then recall that the Mrs. ducked outside last night to look for his registration and insurance card and came back with 5 empty bottles. Call me crazy but I never take a car into be serviced dirty because I believe if the mechanic sees a tidy well maintained car they are more likely to treat it with care. Come to think of it I keep my car spotless. I wasnít always this way but, a clean car like a tidy garage make me happy. I think it may be my profession as a computer programmer if the code isnít perfect it either wont run or it will spit out bad output. I start her up and notice the seat belt/airbag Ďrestraintí light is on. I take a quick glance at the book and says it could mean there is a problem with my air bags and they may not deploy if needed. My son of course failed to mention this.

The check in service manage starts the car and the light doesnít come on. The diagnostic for the intermittent restraint light is $122. Of course Iím thinking if I donít do this and god forbid something happens. The reality in the big picture $122 is not a big deal but yesterday I called to get my 2 Jotul gas stoves serviced and learned it was $225 each. Spending money rarely makes me happy and it seems like this is an outflow week. I remind myself this is why you saved for the last 35 years.. Oh yeah I have to mention when my son came home my wife had to do the final proof reading on his English paper, which still needed a conclusion and was due at midnight. I never, never let anything get to the very last minute. I still have nightmares about missing something and not graduating, 40 years after my first degree. The Mrs said he submitted it 15 minutes early.

The sad thing is when i get out of here- Im sitting in the dealers comfy waiting room, Iíll clean and vacuum his car. I know most would say donít do it but i can help myself. I figure I have time and I like to stay busy and that mess in the cup holders IS IN MY MIND (I know it is an illness)..

Maybe just maybe one day he will appreciate all that the Mrs and I do for him. Maybe Iím just too optimistic.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:55 AM   #2
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He's in college and he visits and is rather happy. Count your blessings!
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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We all have difficulty deciding when our children become adults, and when they must still be treated like children who can't deal with their own life.

I can't say I ever babysat my college aged children's cars for them, but I'm sure I did some things that would cause others to frown. I know my wife was happy to wash the dirty clothes they dropped off while visiting from college, although I wasn't pleased.
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What we do for our kids...
Old 10-15-2017, 07:28 AM   #4
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What we do for our kids...

The car passes inspection and the seat belt is cover by warranty - the $122 diagnostic goes away - I walk away paying $108 for the oil change and inspection. I must confess I volunteered to take the car because I want to be thoughtful about how much we put into 120K mile car.

The thing is this car has been pretty terrific other than the normal stuff like tires brakes etc, we have only had to replace the generator (roughly $700). It runs great and Im hoping to get 3 more years out of it. That car owes me nothing. You know after I shampooed the rugs and gave her insides a good scrub she ainít Ďhalf badí.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:40 AM   #5
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With all these threads on your freshman son, it sounds like youíre having a hard time letting go.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:45 AM   #6
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With all these threads on your freshman son, it sounds like youíre having a hard time letting go.

Perhaps.
She was auto-pilot 4 years, then suma cum laude and a landed a nice job and bam Iím done. He isnít a communicator and is less focused; I guess that makes it harder.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:46 AM   #7
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He's in college and he visits and is rather happy. Count your blessings!

You are absolutely right and I do.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:53 AM   #8
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He's in college and he visits and is rather happy. Count your blessings!
+100

First DD went to college, pretty much "auto pilot" like you mentioned. 2nd DD started the "school of hard knocks", and hasn't graduated yet 6 years later.

Trying to get someone to learn and take responsibility is a very hard thing to watch.

Edit: Not comparing your freshman to my 2nd DD, just commiserating and providing some perspective.... could be much worse.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:54 AM   #9
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We went all-out for the best shot at successful launches. Paid for in-state college, one beater to learn on and one new car each, helped each one get into their first house. No rebounds and no regrets so far.


I'll agree that seeing the floors in their cars used for trash collection is annoying.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:58 AM   #10
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We went all-out for the best shot at successful launches.

I'll agree that seeing the floors in their cars used for trash collection is annoying.

I am clearly in the post launch monitoring stage...
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Old 10-15-2017, 09:13 AM   #11
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You can get the codes read for free at many auto store places, then you google the codes and it tells you what needs fixing.
I thought $60 to read the code was outrageous, your dealer can see you coming a mile away..
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:44 PM   #12
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Watching our kids grow and deciding when to intervene, or not, is difficult. Sometimes you have to stand by and watch them make their own mistakes, which is very, very hard. But that's how they learn, grow, and mature.
As long as they know you love them and are there to help them, if needed, and move forward, its all good.
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:32 PM   #13
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WE helped our kids as needed and I would probably do the oil change to make sure it got done. Clean the car-no way. You should have had 3 kids instead of two like I did and i can guarantee you would be ready for them to launch)
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:47 PM   #14
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For me, it is all about attitude. Some kids feel entitled and some kids are deeply grateful for anything.
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What we do for our kids...
Old 10-15-2017, 01:52 PM   #15
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What we do for our kids...

Let him make his mistakes, plenty of them, they need to figure it out. My oldest daughter is a tough lady but married a pampered snowflake, she gets so stressed from not having a true partner to deal with life's issues.

Once my daughter " forgot" to get her oil changed. I usually changed it myself to save money. So we finished lunch and informed her we were going outside to change her oil & filter. I made her do it so she would understand what was involved and build some confidence when dealing with auto mechanics.

When my kids went to college they had to create a written budget in Excel for the semester. Books, rent, food, etc. I then transferred the entire amount for the semester into their checking account and that was it. If they wanted extra (which they did) they both got jobs. They learned as much about success working as they did in school.


My youngest 27 year old daughter still keeps her little 2006 Ford Focus running with judicious maintenance. Has a few dings and a hubcap missing. And she proudly keeps it clean, it's "her" car. More important she tells me "no car payments". For Christmas I'm buying her a hubcap at the salvage yard.


You will be there as a safety net to keep him from being homeless or destitute.
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
The car passes inspection and the seat belt is cover by warranty - the $122 diagnostic goes away - I walk away paying $108 for the oil change and inspection. I must confess I volunteered to take the car because I want to be thoughtful about how much we put into 120K mile car.

The thing is this car has been pretty terrific other than the normal stuff like tires brakes etc, we have only had to replace the generator (roughly $700). It runs great and Im hoping to get 3 more years out of it. That car owes me nothing. You know after I shampooed the rugs and gave her insides a good scrub she ain’t ‘half bad’.
That car probably has another 100k of life left in it. I would not be shy about doing necessary repairs. New engine or transmission would be about the only thing that would make me reconsider. We have a similar vintage Honda Odyssey with similar mileage. If the kids don't kill it when learning to drive I expect to get another decade out of it.
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Old 10-15-2017, 02:51 PM   #17
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My youngest 27 year old daughter still keeps her little 2006 Ford Focus running with judicious maintenance. Has a few dings and a hubcap missing. And she proudly keeps it clean, it's "her" car. More important she tells me "no car payments". For Christmas I'm buying her a hubcap at the salvage yard.


You will be there as a safety net to keep him from being homeless or destitute.
One of our sons has a 2007 Toyota Yaris. Somehow he lost a wheel cover and it made the whole car look shabby. I found one on eBay and bought it for his birthday. He appreciated having his car look complete again.

Our other son has been traveling a lot for work and to visit his wife who is working in Beijing, China. He recently came back from 2.5 weeks in China (Beijing and Chengdu, Sichuan and also a side trip to Taipei, Taiwan) and I know he gets home late, dealing with jet lag and old groceries in his apartment. One of my great Mom pleasures is to supply him with some fresh basic groceries for when he gets home. It's just fruit, milk, eggs, bread etc so that when he gets up mid afternoon there's stuff for breakfast or whatever meal makes sense at the time.
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Old 10-15-2017, 05:07 PM   #18
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You can get the codes read for free at many auto store places, then you google the codes and it tells you what needs fixing.
I thought $60 to read the code was outrageous, your dealer can see you coming a mile away..
You can also buy your own OBD II code scanner on Amazon for about $35. It was one of the best purchases I ever made.
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:31 PM   #19
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... it seems like this is an outflow week.
The nerd in me would love nothing more than to wax eloquent about the statistics behind why "things" occur in clusters. Expenses, demises, natural disasters; one comes close on the heels of its predecessor.

It is not perception; it is real, and there is well-developed science behind it. Recall both the Poisson distribution of discrete counted events, and its counterpart the Exponential distribution of intervals between Poisson events. A curious feature of the Poisson distribution is that the variance equals the mean... Blah, blah, blah.

But all the ivory tower brainiacs in the world can't make it less painful when one of these bad-luck cycles strikes. Trying to cope with them is why The Lord gave us beer. Let us raise a toast to the good old long-suffering fathers like Ray! God bless you all!
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Old 10-16-2017, 05:16 AM   #20
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By the by I hung a plastic bag off the dashboard with a note that said...Garbage goes here not on floor.. if you friends donít respect your car it is because you donít either. Please keep your car tidy it is easy...

Iím sure the girlfriend had a good chuckle reading it...
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