Clear-Eyed Teenager Tells Dad What He Thinks

So Forman and I sat down and had the Q&A that was promised in the last post. A lot has happened since then. I’m not going to get into the last three months with this post, but if you’ve been following, I’d like to update you on two things right quick. (1) We got our kitchen to functional status before Christmas, so that’s good. (2) I’m back in school now after having taken off this past Summer and Fall to study for the Lieutenant’s Exam. I ♥ school. But I’ll get to all that fun stuff in another post. For now, I present you with my son’s honest and fairly candid thoughts of #LifeBeginsAt48.

Jim and Devin

Me: Do you know what life begins at 48 is all about?

Forman: Um, I know the aspects of it, but I don’t understand the gratification of when, if it does happen, your plan.

Me: What do you mean?

Forman: Um, if you do succeed in what you want to do, uh, I don’t understand why you’d choose that way, instead of the extra five years, and an easier way. Maybe it’s just to get something done quicker, to have more time, to enjoy life?

Me: Does any of life begins at 48 make you nervous, or uncertain?

Forman: Uh, yeah. But, I see how hard you work every day, so it doesn’t worry me that much.

Me: Why’s that? What does my work have to do with your worrying about it?

Forman: Um, you study like crazy for school and everything. You do the best in everything you do, and this is really no different. It’s risky, but I think you can do it.

Me: Do you find any of it exciting or inspiring?

Forman: Yeah. Um, in school it shows how worth it it is to work hard at something, and from other experiences it does.

Me: Do you think it would be better if I wait until I’m 53 to go to law school? I would have a full retirement pension, and you and your sister would both be finished with college.

Forman: I think it would be better, but the quicker way would just be quicker, from what I know of it. But, waiting til you’re 53 would be longer, and it’s not a challenge.

Me: What do you think of our plan to move to NYC, or maybe Washington DC for three years while I go to law school?

Forman: I think that’s risky.

Me: If we accomplish our life begins at 48 plan, that means that when you and Ryan come home for the holidays, and when you finish college, you won’t be coming home to the house you grew up in, but you’ll be coming home instead to a small apartment in the city, where you’ll probably be sleeping on a pull-out sofa in the living room. What are your thoughts about that?

Forman: I think that’s the fun part, if you achieve what you want to achieve, because I get to go to a different place that my parents worked hard to… I really don’t mind about different places I live. I think that’s different, and would be a fun experience.

Me: Life begins at 48 means sacrifices for all, including your choice of college. We’ve talked about how I think you should go to Rutgers because of the quality of education and the cost of attending a public institution with in-state tuition. If we postpone our life begins at 48 plan and change it to life begins at 53, we would probably be in a better position to help pay for college, thereby expanding your college options. Ultimately, you can go to whatever college you choose, but I will be limited in helping you pay for it. I know you’re only in 8th grade, but you do understand why we’re thinking about these things now. How do you feel about a life plan that potentially limits your choices in which college to attend?

Forman: Um, I don’t really mind, because I understand that I’m going to a mediocre school, and I think my options are sort of lowered. And Rutgers is a great school anyway. I have partial understanding of that, so I’m, I feel like I would be going to Rutgers anyway.

Me: I’m going to ask you a follow up question to that. Do you feel like you’re getting jipped, because that’s your life situation?

Forman: No, not at all.

Do you have any resentment towards me or your mom for wanting to do something like this?

Forman: No. Because, I don’t think it affects me that much. I mean it does, but not to the point where it affects me emotionally and mentally, it just affects the path that I’m going to end up in. And I think either way, I’ll be going on a good path.

Me: This is a pretty unorthodox plan for 40-something parents of college-age kids. Do you see any value in it?

Forman: I don’t know how to answer that because I don’t know what you’re thinking, but… Not, not completely, because it’ll only be an extra five years, but five years is a lot, but… um, it… I don’t know what five years would get you, if it was quicker. Because you could be, you could go to law school, it would just be after five years of making more money. So, not really.

Me: Do you think we’ll actually be able to pull life-begins-at-48 off? And if we do, do you think it’ll end up being a good thing, or do you think we’ll find that we would have been better off taking a more traditional road in life?

Forman: I think it would be a good thing, because it’d be different, and I’m almost positive you’ll be able to pull it off, because how hard you work at everything else. And if this is your giant plan, then it’ll probably be something where you work your hardest ever, and it would be worth it.

Me: Any last thoughts?

Forman: Um, I’m okay with you doing this. I don’t think it’s selfish, because you already… you put me where I am now, and I’m in a pretty good spot. So, again, like either way, I’m set up for life.

There he is. Bright kid with a great attitude. He makes a point about our plan to cut out five years short of a full retirement. I addressed that in an earlier post. There is a reason for this madness. After the interview I took the time to esplain it to him, and he did see the logic behind it.

If there are any other questions you’d like me to ask him, leave them in the comments.

Until next time.

Devin Trupet Sillouette

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