We spent the last day of 2017 with our son tromping through the freezing cold lot of a Bronx car dealership, snow and ice and salt crunching beneath our boots. Our boy ultimately purchased a used 2014 Jeep Compass in pristine condition, clean car fax, certified with one previous owner and no accidents and regular servicing, in an indigo pearl, for a price well below the Kelly Blue Book number, because it was the last day of the year and the dealer wanted to meet annual quotas and also, our sales person was a mensch who really worked with us to make the purchase possible. It's like our boy found the perfect snowflake. He's so relieved, though he's a bit worried about how he will afford the new bills, but then, this child of mine always worries about money.
I am so poor, he wailed one day before Christmas. You are not poor, I told him. You don't have a lot of money right now but don't buy in to that poverty mentality because you have options many don't have. I am poor, he insisted, irritated by my woo woo optimism. I went to my room and got a one hundred dollar bill I keep hidden away for the unexpected, and I went back to where he was sitting on the living room couch and I floated that bill down over his head and said, you are not poor, you have a hundred dollar bill raining down on you and it's all yours. He had the grace and good humor to smile, but he refused to take the money, so I said I would hold it for him should he need it anytime soon, and he said, okay, Mom, I get what you're trying to tell me.
And yesterday, after finding that car online a week ago, and calling and making an appointment for a test drive, and then visualizing the car as his all week, but with the edge of anxiety that is part of who he is, his wish came true. And later he sat between his dad and me, filling out all the paperwork, and his dad and I smiled at each other over his bent head, pleased to be asked to go with him to give our opinion and support, and back home that night, my husband said: We helped our boy buy his first car today. That was a nice way to end the year.