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Turning Back the Clock

Posted by Dutchman Tuesday, November 9, 2010 0 comments

My son Zach didn't take the bus to school today. Instead, for the first time, he drove himself there. He was instructed to take the back way, across Lapeer Road and past the Scripter ball fields. It is the safest way, with a speed limit of mostly 25 mph.

When Zach was seven and Tyler five, I became a single parent. Those first few years were tough. They weren't old enough to help around the house a lot. Taking care of them and working a full time job was hard. They had to go to day care at the elementary school before and after school. During the summer months, they had to go there all day. The cost of doing so during school was around $600 per month, and during summer it jumped to $1500. That takes a big bite out of your monthly budget.

Over the years, the costs have gone down. When they each moved up to 6th grade, the "latch key program" ended. They started riding the bus to and from school each day and let themselves into the house when they arrived home. They were there alone for about an hour or so until I arrived. Not paying so much for the day care meant an increase to our monthly income. I still paid for care during the summer months, but the amount decreased with each passing year, until finally, I no longer had to pay. They are also old enough to help around the house and even cook for themselves.

I have more expendable income and taking care of a home and two boys is easier. But, thinking about Zach's first solo drive today, made me wish he was 7 years old again.

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I'm a middle aged divorced father living with my two sons. We like to canoe, bicycle, fish, camp, play baseball, and spend money when we want and where we want, without permission from anybody. HA!

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