Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mean Old Mom

I recently received the following text from my daughter, who has just started college, "Thank you for teaching me how to do laundry". This was one of many texts (like "can taking too much vitamin C turn you orange", and "my boss is selling his Jaguar for only $8,000" that required a little more investigation.

Cassie explained to me that she was doing a couple of loads when some other freshmen entered the laundry room. After asking which machines were the washers, and which were the dryers, one girl panicked because she didn't know that the washer would stop if you lifted the lid. After the initial disbelief and the resultant mocking, Cassie discovered an important truth. Mom wasn't mean, she was just preparing me for life.

My children started doing their laundry in middle school. This was partially because I had four children, but mostly because I didn't want to raise helpless young adults. I had run into many students as a high school teacher who had never given anyone a present, taken care of their clothes, or made an independent purchase. I was very concerned about their future independence.

So, while it may seem like doing everything for your children is an expression of love and support, it's not. After all, if you continue to carry them, they'll never learn to walk.