— I was giving a talk at St. Stephens & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA, recently, and afterward one of the folks who urged the school to invite me, Cara Weiman, sent me this wonderful post from the blog Mothers of Brothers. It begins with the writer, Emily, saying that she helped her high school son make Valentine’s Day reservations at a restaurant:
I was pleased for him – and proud of myself for the assist. But then I started to wonder if he would know how to use the debit card with the server when the meal was over. Sure he had seen Dave and I pay for meals and calculate gratuities countless times. But when alone in the wilderness of mediocre dining, could he fend for himself?
I wasn’t certain, and made a mental note to run through it with him before the big night. Yup — before my son heads off to college, he needs to know how to confidently execute this social maneuver that we adults have taken for granted. Hmm. He probably needs to know how to make a restaurant reservation as well.
Damn. In helping him arrange his evening, I had missed a teachable moment.
The parental slip got me thinking about all of the lessons my boys have yet to learn before they leave the nest and frankly, the list I came up with in a minute’s time left me a little panicked. So, in an effort to maintain some semblance of control of a situation over which I have no control, I created The Bubble List.
The list is great. Check it out. It itemizes things like:
Deal with a cancelled flight
Take a taxi
Catch the subway [Lenore’s note: Yay!]
Plunge a toilet
Change a tire
And now — any items you’d like to add? Please do. And of course, not every 18-year-old has to master every one of these. For instance, us city-dwellers know how to take subways but not how to change a tire. And not everyone is going to take a flight. But you get the idea: What basics should most of us be making sure our teens know? Bubble on! – L