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Thinking Out Loud
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October 28, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: Diane Szczepanski

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"Teach your children well..." ~ Graham Nash

Lately, I feel as if I'm cramming for an exam.

Reviewing and studying and reciting all the little tidbits of advice, trivial to urgent in nature, as I prepare for the "final exam". The day my son enters the world as an adult.

On his own.

Without me.

Granted, we are still a few years away. Yet for some strange reason, I feel the pressing need to relay to him, as much of the knowledge I've gained thru the years, as I can.

One whole chapter in my life lessons has been devoted to cooking with oil.

"Always have a pan lid at the ready, even if you don't intend to cover the pan while you cook. Never throw water on a grease fire. You must keep your pan handle pushed in towards the stove. You never, ever want to have it accidentally bumped down your leg. Or worse, come down on the top of the head of your children you may have some day."

Or the lists of "do's and dont's" that spring forth from my lips in a rapid fire litany of desperation.

"Don't ever mix bleach and ammonia when cleaning. Do keep your gas tank full in winter. Don't under-cook chicken or pork. Do make sure there is Ipecac in your home if you ever have children. Don't put electrical appliances near the sink. Do adjust your hot water tank down some to help with your energy bill and to avoid burns to tender skin."

The list goes on and on.

My 16 year old was getting a little annoyed with me. It really doesn't take much to bring on an eye roll from a teenager, as it is. When they are receiving an overload of "advice" from a mom, their irritation levels are apparent rather quickly in their "All right already!" responses.

He recently asked me, in an exasperated tone, "Mom! Why do you keep telling me all this lately??"

My answer came without a moments thought, "Because. Because you are closer to being an adult on your own than being a child now."

I looked at him a little choked up and went on, "Gone are the days of helping you to learn to ride a bike, keeping you away from a hot oven or teaching you to tie your shoes. You're almost a man now, but I'm still a parent. It's still my job to prepare you for the world, I just didn't think this time would come so fast when I would be teaching you the adult things."

He didn't say much then, but I'm pleased to report that when I say something to him now, he responds with a sincere, "thank you". That makes me feel very good and appreciated and that maybe some of what I say is sinking in.

So, I'll keep "cramming" as long as I am able.

With any luck, I'll ace that "final exam" when that day comes.

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Diane Szczepanski

Business-woman by day, confessed boot addict by night and 'wanna-be' writer, music lover and proud Mom of an awesome guitar playing, teen son.

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