So, I KNOW this may come as a shock to many of you, but did you know that not everyone 100% agrees with me or my views? I can hear the collective “GASPS” and “To HELL you says” being uttered as you read this!
So, I thought I’d share with you all what I would want for the Mathmajor and Manchild. Why? Well cuz its my blog, and it sounded like fun, AND I’m going to be interested in what people think. It won’t change my mind, but it will be interesting.
Just for some perspective here, Mathmajor is 21, starting his 4th year at Western Washington University. He has already earned his math minor, and working now for a cellular biology major. (It’s easier to stick with the name Mathmajor though). This man is smarter than I will ever be, and soon he will have completed college and will move into the real world.
Manchild is 16, and getting ready to go to Highline Community College as a High School Junior. He is in the running start program, and plans to get his AA and high school diploma at the same time. He is also smarter than hell, and very creative.
Both these guy will do well in the world…. But as a dad, I want them to do great things and enjoy life more than I ever did. To that end, I hopes for them might be a bit different from what others would think.
First off someday I hope they meet the right person, fall in love and live happily ever after. Then, if they want to, YEARS from now they can have kids. There’s no rule that says they have to, so it has to be if they want to.
I would want them to wait on both marriage and kids though, so they don’t get tied down. Now me, had I met Michelle in college, we would have 1000s of adventures together! There wouldn’t have been, nor is there now a feeling of being tied down here.
However, there is no guarantee the person they choose would be like Michelle. They could fall in love with someone who wants to settle down, thinks adventure is dangerous and wants kids NOW! And I am here to tell you, it’s not impossible, but it is much harder to have adventures with littles. It IS impossible if you spouse is dead set against it.
I want these two to be able to travel, skydive, live or work abroad, ride across the USA or the world for that matter on a bike, climb mountains, or do whatever the hell they want to for as long as they want to. They will need to get jobs to fund it, but living frugally will give the money needed.
To that end, I have told both boys since they were in diapers “Never buy a house!” Many people have questioned me on this over the years (though the number that do is MUCH lower since the housing bubble broke), and wonder why I think this.
Well two reasons. The first is there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done around the house, and it costs money to do it. I love the little house Michelle owned before she took me in. It’s easy to maintain, and she is not demanding at all.
For the boys though, I don’t want them stuck. If the job of a lifetime comes up, it is so much easier to head out if you are renting, If they suddenly get the opportunity to crew a sailing ship to go around the world, I want them to be able to say “HELL YES” without a moment’s hesitation. There is plenty of time for roots when they are pushing forty. 20s and early 30s, I want them to be “A leaf on the wind.”
The other reason I am NOT a fan of houses comes from being a homeowner adjuster in the past. I know for a fact how many things that can happen to your house that is NOT covered by insurance and thusly can suck you dry financially. Add to it, the only way you can make money is buy one, have in appreciate (no more bubbles please) and then either sell it of take a loan. I was 25 before I lived in a house we owned (army brat) and I turned out great!
OK, one more thing, it is so nice calling the landlord and saying FIX IT, instead of having to do it yourself!
In short, I want the boys to experience as much life as they can. I never want them to have to say “Damn, I really wish I woulda…” or “If only …”
I am prouder than hell of these guys, and love them both dearly, and even though more than once over the years I’ve threatened to sell one or both of them on Craigslist, I wouldn’t trade them for anything, not even a new bike!
The world just has so much to offer, there are so many things I wished I’da done, or places I wish I coulda seen. Michelle and I are still having adventures, but my chance of taking 6 weeks off to bike coast to coast are gone. That shoulda been right out of college.
Healthy and happy lives are the most important part, but almost as much so, I hope when they are pushing 50, they could fill a 1000 blog posts each on what they’ve done, seen and accomplished.
I’m just damn lucky Michelle knows how much I need to push myself still, and makes sure it happens. I am a lucky man, both for having her and for the boys….