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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
My Son's First CarPosted Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 5:00 PM
I've mentioned in other posts that my oldest son, Jay, spent the month of June at my parents' house learning the family business. My mom and dad run a small business called Leonard's Book Restoration Station (leonardsbooks.com). Leonard was actually my grandpa. When I was a kid, it was Leonard's Antiques and Used Furniture in Lafayette, IN. When my grandpa died, my dad took over the business and changed the name to Leonard's Antiques and Books. Eventually, he phased out the antiques altogether and focused on books. On the side, he would rebind books, mostly as a hobby.
During the mid-nineties my dad started listing his books online. He eventually closed down the store in Lafayette and brought his entire inventory home so he could sell exclusively online. This worked for a few years, until the competition became too hard to keep up with. Gradually, he began to expand his side bookbinding business, getting rid of his books to make space for more presses. At first, only my brothers and sisters worked for him, but he soon began hiring others.
When my great-grandpa passed away last year and left my parents some money, they used that to expand their business. They are in the process of adding on a shipping and receiving room as well as an employee bathroom. In an economy where many businesses are struggling, my parents are doing so well that they had to cut back on their advertising because they had more business than they could handle.
This summer has been crazy at my mom and dad's house. Besides running a business, my dad has been supervising a construction crew, most of whom are not professionals, but just people they know that needed work. They've had quite a few issues, such as when the plumbers ran the hot water line to the toilet, but last I heard my dad had made a list of only 40 projects that were left to finish.
Jay got to help with both the construction part and the book binding part. Officially, we counted it as an apprenticeship for which I am giving him high school credit, but they also paid him. He put in long days and slept in the barn loft with another guy named Joe who is working for my mom and dad (and who is also marrying my sister Susie next year!) Over a period of slightly over a month, Jay made about $1200.
I had strongly suggested that he put it in the bank and save it for a car, because I knew he'd be wanting one in the next year or two. I was right, but he ended up getting one a lot sooner than I imagined.
Our next door neighbor put his car out for sale, and Jay came in all excited because he was only asking $1250 for it. I encouraged him to go talk to him and find out about. Our neighbor told him that if he wanted it, he'd let him have it for only $1000. The next day we went to the bank and took out Jay's money, and he is now the proud owner of a silver '99 Chrysler Sebring Convertible. It needs a little work on the front, and it has a few minor cosmetic issues, but it's still pretty sharp looking, especially for a teenage boy's first car. Of course, Jay can't drive it yet. He won't turn 16 until March. But he did back it into his parking spot by himself.
I'm pretty proud of him for working so hard and buying his first car. I still can't seem to wrap my mind around the fact that he's old enough to do that, though. It seems like just yesterday he was a handful of a kid who was always getting into trouble--trying to take a ride on the garage door, cutting his shirts up to make vests, lighting Sunday School papers on fire in the van, and more. I honestly thought more than once how wonderful it would be when he was all grown up and I wasn't liable for him anymore. He's so much like me. He gets an idea into his head and just does it without thinking. (I can sympathize--if you think too hard, it ruins the fun.) But now he's almost grown up and turning into such a smart, responsible young man. He's going to turn out just fine. Of course, you might want to check back with me on that in March when he actually starts driving. These feelings of pride may have given away to terror by then. But in the meantime, I'm one proud mama.
Homeschooling -- The Next Generation
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