I’m sure our college freshman daughter Jennifer Lynn never reads my blog. Ever since her sixth grade teacher commented to her that she had read about Jennifer Lynn’s stress over preparing for the school’s spelling bee in my blog, she ignores it so she doesn’t have to go online and find out that once again, her mother has revealed embarrassing details about her life.

It’s no wonder she always wanted to live like the kids on the Nickelodeon shows like iCarly and  Zoe 101 that she watched as a tween – they existed in a world with NVP – the acronym that Steve coined for No Visible Parents. So knowing that she doesn’t read this, I’m going to use this week’s blog to get my thoughts together about a change of plans that will impact her in a way that she probably won’t be very happy about. She might even still wish that she has No Visible Parents. But she is also a very practical girl, so I think she’ll come around it.

Here’s the scenario: Jennifer Lynn hasn’t had a car at college in Southern California for the first semester. The plan was that she would drive her car – or more accurately, one of our cars back to school after Christmas break. She has told us in many phone calls how she is tired of relying on friends for trips to Target and Ralphs.

But the fact of the matter is that I need the car more than she does.  The tires on my Volvo are so worn that they start hydroplaning on a foggy morning and it’s just not worth the investment to buy new tires for a car that at best  can be described as quirky and at worst, undependable.

The car we’re talking about not letting Jennifer Lynn have is a 2000 Honda which now that we’ve had the dents that the kids put in it, banged out, is a pretty sweet ride. It also has the lowest mileage of our four cars – 140,000 miles on a Honda Civic – hey, it’s barely reached its half-life.

There are a lot of positives about Jennifer Lynn not having a car at college including less distractions from her schoolwork so she can maintain the B+ average she needs in order to keep her scholarship AND the added expense of gas and maintenance.  Any money she earns from her on-campus job needs to go toward the expenses that she will have next year when she studies abroad.

I’m sure at first she’ll be disappointed that she won’t have a car for spring semester but I need to remind her that she has her sights set on a much, much bigger opportunity than being able to make an occasional shopping trip to the Sherman Oaks mall. Where will she be next year if everything falls into place? Shanghai. Yup, no reason for this girl to feel sorry for herself.