Posted by: chlost | November 18, 2010

Adult children are still your children when problems arise, and it is not easy to watch

My son and daughter-in-law were in a car accident this week.

Everyone is okay.

But their car is not. The car was totaled. They need a different car.

This son is 25 years old, our daughter-in-law is 27. My son has never had a loan, except his student loans, and they have never had to go through the process of buying a car. It has been painful to watch.

They have been subjected to the gauntlet of insurance company, credit union, used car salesmen, bank and advice-giving parents on both sides of the family.They are tired, sore, overwhelmed, humiliated, frustrated and angry.

And all of us have to go through it at some time in our lives. It’s the hard part of being grown up. The real world does not care about your personal problems. 

Right now, they have no transportation to get to their jobs. My brother, who is the only person I know right now with an extra vehicle just sitting around, is willing to loan them a pick up truck to use temporarily. He lives two hours from my son. Just figuring out the logistics to get the truck has taken some finagling. We hope to get them that stop-gap solution yet tonight. My brother is quite wonderful to allow them to borrow it. After all, would you feel comfortable loaning your car to someone who has just totaled their own car, plus has a history of backing into your other car last winter? But my brother is a good guy.

(Any women in the market for a 45-year-old never married guy? He is a great guy but is unlucky at love. Just thought it might be worth asking!)

My son and daughter-in-law have been fighting the new world of tight credit while being in an emergency situation for two whole days. They are young. They have very little credit. They are a single income family. They are very hard-working, very honest, smart, good people.

That is not enough. The rental company won’t rent them a car without a credit card. They have tried to be responsible and don’t use credit cards. The credit union will give them a small loan, but it has taken several phone calls with some rather unpleasant people in order to find a representative who was kind enough  to help them get through the system. They still have not been able to look for an actual vehicle.

We want them to be able to stand on their own two feet. We don’t want to intrude or try to take over and solve things for them. They will figure it out. They are doing great. But that doesn’t change us.

We are their parents. We want to make it all better.



  1. Just the fact that this has affected you the way it has shows what great parents your son has 🙂

    • Thanks-it is hard to not be able to do more. They are getting there.

  2. It is so true that it is harder to stand by and watch others suffer than to suffer oneself. And being a parent is really tough when you have to withdraw and let them get through life their own way. Doesn’t matter if it a scraped knee or a car crash, you still want to make it better for them.

    • My kids are great, and I know that they can handle it. I keep having to remind myself (and the husband) of that.

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