Often I wonder just how much I, childless, can say about my partner's teenage step-children. Overwhelmingly generous and caring, it's not that I am afraid of broaching (sp?) the subject with him; rather my concern lies in how much outrage I can show over certain expensive financial decisions he makes without me.
The eldest, having recently finished school, is off overseas. You know, the familiar 'gap' year that 18 year olds apparently need because they've worked so hard. (I wish there was a sarcasm icon I could merrily insert at the end of that sentence. It's not hard work, completing a VCE or equivalent and I don't care what anyone says). The 'programme' he is on cost us, for 'our' half of the payment, close to $10, 000.
If you think that's an outrageous sum of money to spend on an 18 year old, please remember that that amount is only half of what was required. Half.
When the email from his ex came in, I felt sick. I didn't mind forking out for a flight to Israel; perhaps some spending money for the boy but that amount and all the zero's at the end made me feel physically ill. We don't own a house and that sum could have easily helped us toward the deposit we so want. Could have helped us realise a few things that need realising. Having been struck recently with horror financial/work-related woes, I began to feel...angry. Angry because this is money going out over which I have no control.
Not even the most severe of sour faces would stop the fact that the money HAD to be paid. Spoilt-brat stuff, I reckon. Most people I know who travelled after school saved for the trip themselves and worked when they got there. Child number 1 is selfish and invariably lazy in regard to such things. All the cash he earned in the run-up to his trip is being 'saved for the future'. Hmm...
Next time, I'll open my mouth earlier. Thing is, child number 2 is far more like his dad. He is, at 15, saving up for his trip. Which he may very well need to do.