Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An unfair trade

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Sometimes in life people experience terrible things. It’s so much worse when your kid experiences a terrible thing. As a parent, you hate to think of your child dealing with pain that you can’t fix or take away. Our situation could have been so much worse, and we’re thankful it was not, but it wasn’t a walk in the park, either.

Bear with me. There is a point to all this rambling.

My son spent a great deal of 2015 in and out of the hospital. He was 16 at the time. He had seven surgeries between April and December. He had a nephrostomy tube from May 5 to August 3. He had multiple stents that caused bladder spasms, and he had to take antibiotics every day through this entire process, trashing his immune system. Bloody urine, trouble going, pain, and draining the kidney through the nephrostomy tube had become the norm.

The summer break between his sophomore and junior year was ruined. He couldn’t play basketball. He couldn’t skateboard. He couldn’t swim. Even showering was a huge production that took a lot of effort.

He missed a great deal of the last semester of his sophomore year. He had to go to summer school between surgeries because of the time he missed. He seriously started summer school three days after one of his surgeries. He missed a great deal of the first semester of his junior year, and now he is in summer school to make up for it - again. He tried his best not to miss school, even going in pain and riding in a wheelchair on many occasions. His 4.3 GPA was tanked by all the time he missed, and he has been sorely upset by this. Don’t get me wrong. He still has a good GPA, but it isn’t what it was before and it bothers him a great deal. He is working very hard to raise his GPA as much as he can. (That's the kind of kid he is. He scored a 24 on his ACT and was upset because he expected to score higher. He's an overachiever.)

On October 29, 2015, my son, who was 16 at the time, had a partial nephrectomy. Part of his kidney was removed. It’s a painful surgery. This poor kid had an awful year. He had surgery almost every month. He was always recovering from a surgery and several times had another surgery while he was still recovering from the last surgery. He suffered. He lost 14 pounds in four weeks after his partial nephrectomy, and this kid was already skin and bones.

He was in a great deal of pain many days throughout this entire process. The kid had it bad. Still, he never complained or felt sorry for himself. I think he worried about me more than he did himself, at times. No matter how awful things were, he went in with a smile on his face and dealt with it. He suffered more than he should have at times because he refused his pain meds so he could concentrate in school. I cannot truly explain how terrible things were nor fully describe what he endured. I just can’t. It was bad. Our hearts broke for him, but he comforted us instead of feeling sorry for himself. That’s what kind of kid he is.

Today, he is 17 and gearing up for his senior year in high school. He is thinking of college and has gone back to work. He’s a perfectly normal teenage boy, but I am reminded of his courageous battle every time he removes his shirt and I see his scars. My husband and I have felt so bad for him. Part of us still does and likely always will.

My son doesn’t ask for much. He really doesn’t ask for anything. He’s just a good kid. When he started talking about saving up to buy a certain kind of car he liked, my husband took note. The kid has a small truck, but it is quite a gas hog. It makes sense for him to have a car that gets better gas mileage when he heads off to college. When our son decided he really couldn’t afford to buy a car when he is preparing to be a broke college kid, hubby still kept looking without saying anything about it. He found one, and he decided to buy it. Now my son is riding around in a BMW. My kid has a nicer ride than I do. By default, my son’s truck is now considered my primary ride.


Here is the point to my lengthy rant:

My husband works very hard to provide for us. He does. He would consider 40 hours a week a part-time job. That’s how much he works. He doesn’t do this because he has to; he does it because he wants to. He wants to because he wants to do nice things like what he just did for our son. He bought our kid a beautiful BMW that he has dreamed of since the days where he could do nothing but sit around and dream of things. We don't need permission from or the approval of anyone to spend our money how we see fit. Stop and think about your words. This poor kid has really been through the wringer, and he deserves something nice after all he has been through. If you look at it any other way, rethink your thinking.

On to my complaint...

There are people who have made rude comments about us buying such a car for our son. There are people who think we’re showing off, being braggarts, or just plain thumbing our noses at others by buying such a nice car for a teenager still in high school.

I say this to you:

I have no idea why anyone thinks they are entitled to have a say in how we spend our money or what we buy our children. No clue on that, but I’ll be happy to return the favor and give you financial advice if you feel you have the right to speak about our finances. I also have no idea why some think we shouldn’t be proud that we were financially able to buy this car for our son. My husband breaks his back every single day to have money to buy what he wants for his children. There is a difference in being proud and being a braggart, and it is pure pride in his ability to give his child something he deserves. He is proud he was able to give him something nice after all he has been through, and he worked hard to do it. He has a right to be proud of that. If you think we’re being silly buying our child such frivolous things or we’re spoiling him, then I can only say this:

The BMW only cost him part of a kidney.

That one statement should put things into perspective. It's not really a fair trade.

Best Wishes,


P.S. Tater Tot is growing like a weed, and she’s doing great. Visit Gran the Great on Facebook to keep up with our sweet gal.


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