And I’m going to tell you the absolute truth about this, despite the monkeys squeaking and squealing in my head about how this will mess with my look-good.
This story is about my daughter Rose, who turns 27 next week, and dropped out of college a few years ago. Her path in life, so far, looks a lot more like mine did in my 20s (and 30s!), and a lot less than what I had in mind for her. I learned a long time ago that my daughter has her own path, her own loving higher power, and that her loving higher power’s name is not Sue!
I’ve had money set aside for my daughter. I put $5,000 of the inheritance I got from my parents into an account for her, hoping she would want to go back to school, and happy to be able to help her do that. She has shown increasing maturity when we’ve talked about it. As her car was dying, I kept offering to use some of that money to help her fix the car, and she kept telling me to keep it safe, that she would take care of the car herself.
Her car finally died, and living in suburban, no-public-trans, Folsom, California as she does, she’s been hampered in her efforts to transfer to a different store (she’s a Starbucks barista), or get a better job.
After a few conversations with her, she got very clear that while she does want to go back to school, she wants to do that on her own dime, and that she really really needs a car. Her father and I (we haven’t lived together in 20 years, and we get along very well around all things Rose) decided we’d go halfsies on a new used car for her.
It all went down Friday. We drove out to the used car guy my friends recommended, and she fell in love with a beautiful 2003 Infiniti, which is the car she now owns.
I have been driven temporarily insane by the fact that I bought Rose a car that’s one year newer, a bit fancier (I have a Camry), and has 20,000 less miles than mine does! I nearly didn’t do it; it was a struggle. I nearly made her take my car so I could have the Infiniti for myself. In fact, if the Infiniti had heated seats (a feature I have loved for the entire time I’ve owned this car, and I bought it new), I think I would have done it.
The pinch? Something like this: I often say that I wasn’t in the room when they passed out the life-skills manual, or maybe I just up and left the room. I’ve been in Remedial Life Skills 101 for nearly 22 years now, since I got clean and sober. And the chapter about unselfishness, about selfless parenting? Well, I don’t know that I even got to that chapter or thought about the concept, until last Friday. Instead, I’ve been processing, and slowly releasing thoughts like:
Access to gratitude saves my ass, one more time!