Midlife Mom

Navigating the teen years… and beyond

Adding that third car

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Confession time.

I am not a parent who bought their kids cars when they turned 16. In fact, with the exception of a very small window of time, we were never more than a two-car family even when two out of three kids were licensed to be behind the wheel.

Sure, I know many parents did it more for their own convenience than for the kids. Otherwise we’ve got to be prepared to drive them everywhere or make sure there is a car available when they need it. And those of us with teens know how often that is!

I guess, though, I’m old-fashioned. I grew up in an era when — at least the kids who I knew — only had cars if they worked and saved up the money to buy them. Many bought mom and dad’s old clunker.

For me, that was a 1976 Ford Pinto. OK, you can stop laughing now. At least it was red. But I didn’t get this car until a couple months shy of my college graduation. The deal was I’d pay my dad $500 for the car in installments once I started my job. Of course, I had to spend so much money every month just to keep the car running that my dad eventually told me I didn’t have to pay him anything.

Well, we are finally adding a third car to the family, much to the relief of our recent-college-graduate son. Although he’s always worked, he’s used his money toward college expenses and for spending money, so he never had enough to buy a car — since even an old used one would have cost several thousand dollars (not to mention the insurance costs on top of that).

But starting this weekend he’ll have a car at his disposal. He’ll be able to drive himself to and from work every day without having to worry about getting his dad to and from the train station. He thinks it’s long overdue. I say it comes just at the right time.

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