“Mama…I am gonna send you some pictures of the truck. In case you want to blog about it or something,” says my 17 year old little man. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I hadn’t blogged in a long time.
When your boy hints for you to blog…you blog.
I am sure he was expecting a blog about how awesome the truck is now that it’s been tricked out a bit. He got “rims” from Santa; A tool box and new headlights from his grandparents. He is over. The. Moon.
That’s not what I am going to blog about.
Keith Urban has a song called,”a boy gets a truck,” that makes me tear up everytime I hear it.
My parents made me an incredibly generous offer for the truck with the stipulation that I not hand it over to my fella. It was his to drive but to “own” it he has to pay for it. It’s a lesson in responsibility. It’s a lesson that you earn what you want and you work to get it.
To pay for the truck and the part of the insurance to drive the truck my boy gets a job. I see him less. He works 2-4 nights a week while holding down a pretty tough academic schedule and swimming 5 days a week. I see a level of responsibility in him that I haven’t seen before.
And so it begins. He has a truck. He no longer needs me to drive him to swim meets or practices. While part of me is doing a jig of joy another part of me is sad. Those car trips to swim meets and grandparents and all the trips in between were quality time. Lock a boy in a car and let the conversations start. I learned more about him in the car then anywhere else. He was a captured audience. But he doesn’t need me for that anymore. He’s got a truck.
He has a truck so now he’s scooter pootin’ around to football games and movies and corn mazes. He’s building a little life for himself that has nothing to do with me. It’s how it should be but that doesn’t make it easier.
He has a truck so he shuttles his teen sister and his baby sister to places they need to go. They have their own stories and memories made during these truck rides…memories I don’t share. They sing songs I don’t know. Laugh at jokes I didn’t hear. They come spilling in the door laughing about dabbing and dancing in the truck. The teens share glances that I am sure belay secrets told in the truck. Secrets I don’t know.
He has a truck. Soon he’ll have a girl. Once that happens it’s a quick ride to the bigger things in life. And it started with a truck.
“Boy gets a truck,” the tune plays in my head even as I type this. It’s more then a truck for him. He doesn’t see the hundreds of thousands of miles already logged on the odometer. He doesn’t realize that the truck is a year older than he is. He doesn’t see the songs and bumps. He looks at it and sees freedom and possibilities. He is so proud driving down the road convinced that other drivers of trucks are admiring his “ride”. He is proud and excited and has something to work for. When he looks at the truck he sees something that’s his that he’s earned. He also feels the weight of debt and has acknowledged that working for money that already belongs to someone else is hard. I hope that’s a lesson that says with him for the rest of his life.
Sidebar: he has the money to pay me for the truck in savings. It’s all if his savings so I told him to keep it in there for ‘safety’ and the the could pay me when he had a little more saved. He also pays 1/3 of his own insurance—which ain’t cheap for a 17 year old boy!
My boy got a truck. Soon that truck will be packed up to take him to college. With luck it will one day move him into his first apartment. It will chauffeur a girl one day. It will be parked in the driveway of his first house. And one day his son will get a truck. And it will all happen in the blink of an eye.
My boy got a truck and with it came pride and a sense of ownership he hadn’t felt before. He sometimes bemoans that he has to work so hard for what he gets while his friends get handed cars without debt and easier roads. I don’t apologize for that. I tell him welcome to life. And though he sometimes wishes for an easier road I really believe that he understands the values of the lessons he is learning now.
He dons flannels and jeans and boots now where before he wouldn’t. He’s more comfortable and confident in his own skin. He seems to have a better sense of who he is and who he wants to be…all because of a truck.
My boy has a truck. See for yourself how proud he is….