Friday, July 24, 2009

It's a hard knock life...

I've said this before, being a parent can be a tough job. When they're little and dependant on you for everything it's hard but most of the problems are small potatoes. I've found that the older they get, the bigger the problems. Take for instance my oldest son...

He graduated in 2008, passed his NCLEX exam and is now a Registered Nurse. He then moved to New York City for a job in a Manhattan hospital. He moved there with nothing. He had to come up with his share of the first month's rent, security deposit and broker fee. Not only did he not have money for that, he had no money to live on until he got his first paycheck about a month after moving. This is where we came in. We loaned him all we had available, about $4,000. He's made monthly payments to us repay us. I would have loved to say, no problem, don't worry about the money but our bank accounts were wiped out. He's been there almost one year and is 3/4 of the way paid up.

Unfortunately he and his roommate, a friend since 6th grade are amicably parting ways. This means a new apartment search with more money up front for rent and fees. Trust me, it's not cheap living in New York City. He's paying us back every month, his student loans every month not to mention living expenses and $200. per month for parking. He's thinking about selling his car. This time we're not helping him with his move, financially or physically. He's on his own.

Now on top of all this he took his car into Sears because the muffler was very loud and he needs an inspection. They called him to say the repairs to the exhaust system would be $1,100! WTF? They stated he needed a whole new exhaust system plus a new catalytic converter and o2 sensors. He in turn called us in a tizzy. We told him go pick it up , don't let them touch anything and take it to another garage for a second look.

He did so and this garage said the only thing he could see "wrong"with the catalytic converter was that it had some rust on it like 99.9% of all cars out there. He needed a new pipe on the muffler, some minor adjustments and some brake work that Sears hadn't even gotten to. The guy even buffed out a big scratch and pushed out a dent he had on the car. All this plus the inspection for $675. Sears should be ashamed of themselves. They've probably screwed over many car owners. I will never buy anything from Sears again.

Where this whole post is going is that at sometime in your child's life you have to let them go, let them be a real grown-up and experience the adversities of life. I can't tell you how hard that is as a parent. I want to shelter him and help him out. We did tell him that we would call the remaining balance on the loan a wash, consider it part of his graduation gift. What did he say? His reply was, "not going to happen, I am paying that back." Money will be extra tight for him for several months but he understands that the time has come for him to accept what life throws at him and not depend on mom and dad.

I love him.