Lessons to teach

My son is away at college, 1,000 miles away. We went over a lot of critical skills that he needed to learn before he went: how to be responsible with his debit card, managing his account online, how to do laundry, and all the finer points of life. There were a lot of humorous spots along the way. Yesterday, it became clear that the fine art of mailing was not gone over well enough. My son needed to send me some documents for his next round of student loans. The first time, luckily I was still with him setting up his first apartment when the documents arrived needing both our signatures, this time, he needed to print them, sign them and send them to me… his first question… where do I get an envelope that will fit them (about 14 pages). I had to laugh, apparently it wasn’t obvious that any stationery store (Walmart, Staples, even the Post Office itself might be a source of these mysterious envelopes). To make things simple on his since he has a very difficult school schedule (they actually attend class 40 hours a week)., I suggested he just get one at the Post Office since he’d need to stop there anyway (at least, this was assumed). Yesterday, the package arrived in the mail… 12-14 pages, in a large padded envelope (wouldn’t want them to break I suppose LOL), with a single stamp attached… and accompanied by an envelope from the mail carrier requesting an additional 72 cents. Obviously, it never once occurred to my son that the post office looked at different sized packages different.. I mean, they did have to get to my house anyway didn’t they 🙂

So.. this will be our next life lesson.. not everything that fits in an envelop can be sent with a single stamp LOL.

Over the past year, probably one of our most humorous moments (OK, maybe it was only funny for me), was when he told me that he couldn’t use his debit card. He tried it at two different gas stations and the ATM. So, on our next trip to Walmart, we went to the ATM and I had him show me what he was doing, assuming it was something obvious like putting in the card backwards or upside down.. nope.. he had it perfect… read the instructions to the letter. “Push in and pull out quickly”. You’d have thought the boy was sticking his hand in the mouth of an alligator.. he pushed and pulled the card so fast it didn’t stand a chance. I started laughing immediately. It is quite easy to misunderstand those innocent instructions if you think about it. So, we learned that the push in was soft, the pull out was smooth and not even close to as fast as he was trying to do it… and success was found LOL. I look back and try to remember if my new-found adulthood was this difficult. I’m sure he’s laughing at me too, trying to figure out new things (like how to use my MySpace account.. I finally managed to post a few pictures) and pronounce chatspeak works (somehow I don’t think I’ll ever past p*wn LOL), but we’re both learning how to function in the world (real and cyber). It’ll continue to be a grand adventure for both of us I’m sure.