How Do I Learn to Be a Grown-Up?

by Tina Blue
Feb. 6, 2004

          My son Michael is 24 years old now, and in a couple of months he will finish his MSM degree in business at the University of Florida.

          He has come a long way since he was a little boy fretting about how he would ever learn to do all the complicated things that seem to be required of grown-ups.

          He was always something of a worrier. I remember his concern about starting kindergarten: "Mommy, I'm afraid that someone is going to try to get me to take drugs when I go to school!"

          I assured him that such temptations were not likely to come his way in kindergarten. (I think they might start by second grade, though, the way things are going these days!)

          And then there was the time, when he was just seven years old, that he asked me, "Mom, do they have a class to teach kids like me how to be grown-ups?"

          "What do you mean?" I asked.

          "Well," he responded, "I don't know how to write checks or anything.  How will I learn how?"

          Seven years old, and already he was worried about such things. 

          I reminded him on the phone today that he--who is now aiming toward a career in business, studying such complex matters as marketing, statistics, and financial analysis--once worried whether there would be a class to teach him how to write checks and do other grown-up things.

          He laughed and said, "Oh, yeah. I remember that.  But I didn't tell you what was really bothering me at the time. It scared me that didn't know how to buy insurance!"

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