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My son is visiting from college on spring break, yes he’s not much into going out and getting drunk like millions do for spring break, he rather come home and get some sleep. I guess he had some tough finals this round and he would rather sleep, don’t get us wrong, we love having him here, he has grown up so much. I just wonder where the years have gone. Anyway, while he was here, he asked to talk to me and his mom, so we sat at the table and he began by letting us know that gas prices were crazy and the car he has now does not get good mileage and he is spending a lot of money on gas. Quick, my son got his mom’s 2009 Flex. She bought it new, no miles on it, and we have kept up the maintenance, it is a nice-looking car. When he moved to college, he told us if he could sell the car and buy a sports car. Well, the sports car he wanted was expensive and we just couldn’t afford it. So, it was the Flex or nothing at all and he took the Flex.
He went on and told us if he could sell the Flex and get a motorcycle. He even did the research and found out he could get about $5,000 for the flex, and the motorcycle he wants costs $6,000. We would only need to come up with $1,000. He even went as far as to explain the difference in what we would be spending if we had a new car payment plus insurance to only having motorcycle insurance. He also pointed out maintenance costs and so on, he did his research. The thing is that my wife and I are extremely skeptical of him driving a motorcycle because of the fear of him crashing not making it. He told us that he could as easily crash in a car, but we told him that the chances of living through a car crash to a motorcycle crash, are different. His mom went on to say that just recently the neighbor’s sister got into a motorcycle accident and died. She had been driving for 20 years and was a great driver, but the accident was the fault of the driver, of the car that hit her.
We told him we would rather get him a cheap, but a new car, say for example a basic mustang, or a Kia, which he was fine by either one, but he did not want us to have more bills. I could see my son is thinking about us, and we do appreciate it. Now, here comes the part during the conversation that made him cry. His mom started out by saying that, if anything were to happen to him, she would die. She would blame herself for buying or allowing him to buy a motorcycle and something happened to him. She was in full tears, and my son began to cry, it was at this point that I told him, this is what I wanted you to see, something that cannot be explained, but do you see the pain in your moms’ eyes. If anything happened to you, it would devastate her, please understand. If we were a family that rode bikes, then I could see the reasoning, but no one rides in our family. Also, in today’s world of increasing road rage incidents and cars on the road, we believe you would be a safe driver, but what about everyone else on the road. He understood but explained to us that he would hardly drive the motorcycle. Right now, he says that he takes the bus or rides his skateboard to campus and most other places. He only drives once a week to the grocery store, and when he comes home. So, he told us he would barely be on the road. We listened and we told him, look let’s take this one step at a time. How about you look and take some motorcycle driving courses, and figure out the DMV requirements. Then we can in a few months talk about it again, maybe we can paint the Flex, sell it for a bit more, and by then you would have your training and see if you still want a motorcycle. If you do, we can look at the options and decide. I made it clear to him, that this was not a “No”, but he needed to show us that he was serious about his safety and look for the courses, to see if he would like to drive a motorcycle anyway. I mean he could take the course and decide this is not for him; he said he will look into it – we shall see.
I will keep you posted on the motorcycle decision and with that, I leave you with this thought, “If you treat your kids, whether small or old, with the same respect you want, the conversations you will have with them will be a lot better and they will always feel they can talk to you and be treated fairly. Allow them to grow”.