Ask Clare: The early school year has messed with my family vacation plans

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email.

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Clare,

Back-to-school time is way too early this year! In June I booked a father-son bonding trip for a long weekend before I realized my son would be back in school. My wife said there is no way I can take him out of school for two days this early on. I already got time off, bought plane tickets, seats at a game and booked the hotel. How can I convince her to let us take this trip?
– Cool dad

Cool dad,

It sounds like some bribing may be in order. Maybe your wife would like a long, romantic weekend trip this fall. I hear Napa is nice that time of year. Let her know how important your family is to you and check the school schedule next time.
– Clare

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Clare,

My parents are at their new condo at the beach for the summer. They left my mom’s car here in the desert. The AC in my car wasn’t working well so I used my mom’s car without asking and then got into a little fender bender in a parking lot. I paid a friend who works at a body shop to fix up the car and the one I hit. I don’t think they’ll notice. Should I tell them?
– Smash up

Smash up,

Hopefully, your friend did a good job. Either way, you should probably tell them. It seems like you’re already worrying about it and you’ve already shelled out the cash to fix your mistake. Apologize not just for the accident but also for taking the car without talking to them first.
– Clare

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Clare,

I turned 18 last week and I still haven’t gotten my license. My parents have always taken me where I need to go. My dad is now really pushing me to drive. I have no interest in learning right now. I’m heading off to college next month and won’t have a car with me. My parents are paying for my college and I feel like I am still under their control. How can I convince my dad I don’t need this extra pressure in my life right now?
– Driven daughter

Driven daughter,

A license and driving really help with independence. It sounds like the thought of driving gives you some anxiety. Tell your dad that you’ll spend winter break learning to drive and that you’ll have your license for your first summer home from school. They’ve been pretty generous in carting you around for 18 years. You’ll probably enjoy driving once you get comfortable behind the wheel.
– Clare

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