Monday, August 15, 2011

Maybe just a little apartment?

This is Michael’s senior year, but it seems we can’t go a day without discussing some aspect of what he’ll be doing next year. Yes, folks, we are looking at colleges. I know we aren’t the first parents to do this; folks all over the globe have sent their kids to college. But this is the first time we’ve ever done it, and the prospect does seem to be taking up an inordinate amount of conversational space. But after hearing Michael’s grand scheme for how he’ll live after college I’m thinking he may just want to skip the dorm and buy a camper.
Michael making his budget

At dinner last night, Michael told us he intends to buy a camper to live in after school, thus saving money so he can eventually buy a house. Now, that sounds pretty good. Only problem: he intends to park it in various super-mart parking lots, thus avoiding any rental fees.

Aside from the obvious trespassing problem, I brought up the concept of running water. He’d already thought of that: he’ll buy bottled water for drinking, and use whatever supercenter he is parked in for brushing his teeth and potty breaks. (I blame a friend at church for putting the, “Use a public restroom to save on water and toilet paper,” idea in his head. You know you who are, Dr. M.)

“What about showers?” I asked.

“I’ll join the Y. If I have a membership, I can shower whenever I want.”

“What will you eat?” I asked.

“Hot pockets, soup and Coke,” answered Michael.

“Do you have a Pepto Bismal budget?” asked Dad.

Michael countered, “I’ll have a sweet car, a camper, food, a place to shower and a job. What more could I want?”

“Friends,” said Rebecca.

He continued sharing his monthly budget with us: $50 for Hot Pockets, $12 for easy cheese, $40 for car washes. The boy doesn’t want to spend any money on electricity but he’s all for spending money on car washes?

I admire his desire to save money. That is a good thing, and I know I had a hand in drilling “Save, baby save,” into his head. I didn’t, however, think he’d want to save by living in a camper in various parking lots around the city.

After we’d enjoyed hearing Michael’s plan, Sean pulled out his Bible and we settled in for the next chapter in I Kings, the book we’ve been reading together. It was I Kings 17, which introduces the story of Elijah. And how did God take care of Elijah? “’You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.’ … The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

“Man, I need some ravens!” said Michael.

Or maybe you could just have an apartment with a stove, honey.