Sunday, July 22, 2012

Uncharted Territory

My husband and I are entering uncharted territory and a new phase of parenthood.

High school senior.

My son will be entering his senior year at the end of August. Not only that, but next weekend he's taking his road test for his driver's license. Eeek! Which is scarier?

I think the school part is the scariest - at least for me. For him it's exciting. He's going to "rule the school!" to quote Rizzo from Grease. He's talking about college - a lot. He's talking about moving across the country "to get out of this area." It's not the moving away part that scares me. It would be a huge - and I mean huge - transition and growing up experience for him. His Mama (that would be me) is guilty of doing too much for him. He could use a healthy dose of doing grown up stuff like his own laundry, cooking, etc. (which up until now he makes no attempt at learning even when I try to teach him). But the scary part for me is and always has been the cost. How do we put our child through college when we're just making ends meet for the family now? How do you tell your child that the yearly tuition for the school he's looking at is more than half our yearly income? He's working and saving money but he also has an expensive hobby- computers. He wants to build his own computer. If he's successful with this I know it would look good for him. It's what he's been learning at the vocational school for the past three years and what he wants to do in the future. How many 17 year old kids can build their own computer? However, I can't help but see the dollars he's putting into this project.

Then we move onto the driver's license part of this whole being 17 thing. On the one hand, it'll be great to have another driver in the house. We won't have to drive him back and forth to work. I won't have to rush out of work in the afternoon to make sure he gets to his job on time. But to do all that he needs a vehicle. It's been pretty much decided that we'll give him let him use my husband's 10 year old pick up truck. My husband needs a new vehicle. The old truck is worth squat as a trade-in so we figured we might as well keep it. Which brings up the issue of more money going out in the form of a newer vehicle, new registration,  insurance on that third (newer) vehicle and higher insurance rates from having a junior driver on our policy. Oh, did I mention that my husband is looking at vehicles that cost $25,000 to $30,000 and we have no trade-in? I'm trying to get him to lower his standards but I haven't succeeded yet. We're not poor but we're not even close to being rich. We get by with very few extras.

See why I'm just a tad stressed?

Have you gone through these milestones in your children's lives yet? Got any tips to keep me from going insane with worry?

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