We are packing to take our 18-year-old son off to college at the end of this week. A small pile of “Don’t forget to pack!” items accumulating by the back door serves as a startling reminder that I have less than a week to tie up a few loose parenting ends before I send him out into the wide blue yonder we refer to as The Real World..
1. After We Pay Your Tuition, You Will Have More Money Than We Do
I’m so glad we had the “money talk” today. When you asked me how you would be obtaining cash flow while you were away at school and I explained, you seemed somewhat taken aback.
Son, we are providing for your tuition, books, lodging and we upgraded your meal plan to include more caloric energy per day than the rest of our family will consume in an entire month. I can’t imagine what else you think you’re going to need, but I saw all those graduation checks that came rolling in last May. I happen to know you have more money in your bank account than I do. Use it.
When you complained that you didn’t want to use your “precious money” to buy “things like shampoo,” I saw a little of your father in you. He feels the same way. That’s why he takes business trips. It’s solely to obtain those tiny little bottles of free hotel shampoo. Got any business trips on your calendar? I didn’t think so. Just buy yourself some shampoo, please.
And, look at it this way — when your Grandmothers ask you what you spent all your graduation money on, and you answer, “Suds,” you won’t really be lying.
2. Any Moron Can Do Laundry
People have been telling me forever that I was doing you a genuine disservice by doing your laundry all these years. But, I didn’t mind doing your laundry while you played sports and made those stellar grades. When my concerned friends worried aloud in my presence that you “wouldn’t know how to do laundry when you left for college,” I assured them I could “teach any Moron to do laundry in 5 minutes!” and “planned to do so right before we left for College Town, USA!” And, no, I did not just call you a moron. I’m your mother, I love you.
As usual, I was right. We knocked that task out today in no time flat. All in all, you did well. I’m sorry your clothes came out wrinkled and you’re concerned about having to iron them. When I told you the solution was simply to do “smaller loads,” so your clothes could fluff out more freely, and you responded that “would take too long” and you, “didn’t want to spend all your free time doing laundry,” I was kind’ve stung. Did you realize when you spoke those words, that you were taking a personal swipe at my entire existence? I do laundry for a living, so ouch.
One more thing: as you get older, you’ll realize there is no such thing as “free time.” Any moron knows that. Okay, I think NOW I just called you a moron.
3. I Am Always Going To Parent You
By no means should you ever feel that I’m done parenting you. Last night you hung out at your friend’s house awfully late. I texted you when I was ready to go to bed to see what your plans were and you came across a wee bit CAVALIER. I know that this time next week you will be on your own and I won’t have the “luxury” of knowing right where you are, but I plan to parent you right up to the very last possible second — up the dormitory staircase, down the dormitory hallway, right into the dorm room.
And, Spoiler Alert — when you come home for Christmas and Thanksgiving, I’m going to pick up right where I left off. If you don’t like the sound of that, you should plan some type of a business trip for those weeks. You can pick up some shampoo while your there. That’s just a suggestion. It’s your call — whatever you think. I’m not going to tell you what to do.
Wait — scratch that last part — actually, I am.
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