My oldest son graduates from high school today. But, that's not why I'm proud of him. High school is actually pretty easy to graduate from. Plus, it's an expectation. It's your job as a kid to go to school and to graduate from it.
Let me tell you about my son. He's confident, charismatic and industrious. And yes, obviously he's adopted because he clearly didn't get any of these traits from me. He got a work permit and a job at age 15. Not because we suggested he get one. But, mostly because we'd always told him we wouldn't buy him a car. That he'd have to save up his money and buy his own. Which is exactly what he did. Last summer at age 17, he'd saved enough to buy a 1972 International Scout. He was so proud the day he bought it. He asked me to do the honors and start the engine so he could check the timing, the first day it was home. That's when I inadvertently crashed his car into my 1969 Karmann Ghia. (You can read that story here. ) Don't worry, his car sustained no damage. Even though he had a car, he couldn't drive it. Because he'd never driven a manual before. After only two lessons with his dad, he was a pro. Then he researched how to fix nearly everything on his car on the internet and spent countless hours fixing it up. Spending about $2000 of his own money in parts. He even painted it himself.
|Photo Credit: Ember Loerzel|
Special Guest Appearance: Clyde Loerzel
That's when he started shopping for a "new" old Scout to invest in. And he found one. A newer model from 1979. In South Carolina. That wasn't running. And he had it shipped to our house sight unseen. Not only that, when he couldn't secure a driver through a broker after trying three times, he cut out the middleman entirely and hired his own driver. WTF was he thinking?
One rainy day, it arrived and he rolled it off the truck and he and his dad towed it up the driveway. He'd already bought the parts to get it up and running. And within a week, he had a working vehicle again.
he lost the key. The only key to his new car. He looked everywhere for it. Then, he called a locksmith. And determined that $150 was too expensive. Because, of course, he'd be paying the locksmith with his own money. So, he decided to hot wire the car. And buy a new ignition and key for $10. Installing it took him a whole day. But, he did it. And promptly made two copies of the new key. (The next day, when I was doing laundry, the old key fell out of the dryer.)
That's why I'm proud of him.
Because my kid has life skills...
and he can hot wire a car.