"I picked out my car"
When I woke up Saturday morning to get the boys ready for ice hockey, I saw my #2 already awake sitting in front of his computer. I went into the garage to get the hockey bags, and he came in to help. As he grabbed his bag, he said, "Mom, it will only be 6 more years until I can drive a car."
I replied, "you are 8, it is more like 8 more years." (it is 7:15 am, he is 8. Am I really having this conversation?)
"Well", he continued, as I put his equipment on, "I was online designing my car." "What kind of car were you designing?", I asked. "A BMW", he replied, "I had a choice of two doors, four doors, and a van like yours. I picked the two door." He went on to describe the option packages he wanted. "How much is the car?", I asked . "$44,000", he answered. "I also designed two Honda's. They were $22,000." I asked him, "So what does that tell you? You can get two Honda's for the price of a BMW." He nodded, laughed, and continued, "I also designed a Hyundai, like dad's and a jeep. But, I liked the BMW the best.""Of course you did." I say, "A BMW is a premium driving machine. But rule number one states, that you can't have a better car than your parents unless you buy one for me after you have bought one for yourself." (How early did this kid get up to be able to design five cars before 7:15am?).
Later that day, I walked into the family room and saw #2 on the computer. As soon as he saw me, he closed his computer, grabbed it and started up the stairs. "I'm gonna use the computer in my room" he said. "Oh no", I said to myself. The story my good friends told me about one of their sons watching porn on his iphone in the middle of the living room came to mind. "Computer check", I told him, and then he began to melt. I thought,"oh no, what is he watching." The more he protested the more I worried. Finally, I told him that I wouldn't be angry but I needed to know what he is looking at. Reluctantly and shame-faced, he told me,"I was designing another car."
"OH, THANK GOD!" I thought to myself, and I couldn't help but laugh at the sheer cuteness of that moment. He looked confused. I told him, "You're not in trouble. You just need to be honest and ask permission next time." I explained the meaning of "proactive", how he needs to ask permission to do things instead of being "reactive", getting into trouble because he didn't ask. I explained what personal information is and the importance of not sharing it anywhere.
My relieved child smiled, and showed the me Cube Car he designed,(car #6). As he added on all his extras, he asked us about the difference between leasing and financing. That is when dad took over and explained. "Leasing is paying to borrow the car; You have to give it back after three years. Financing is buying something when you don't have the money. So, you wind up paying more for the car by the time you pay back all the money." #2 nodded his head, and I watched another fact being absorbed by his brain.
"Ya know, 2", I said, "cars change so much over the years, who knows what kind of cars will be available when you drive." "Yea mom", he said. "And maybe by then, I will be designing my own"." He smiled the biggest, goofy smile and went back to designing.