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Wisdom Gap

In this case, time really is money.

In this case, time really is money.

For my 500 Things Project, I am downsizing one thing every day for 500 days until my son leaves for college on August 23rd. Today #477: Gold Jewelry (happily sold to Fox Valley Coins, Inc!)…

Sam was taught the Golden Rule early.

But with only 22 days to go before Launch Day, I’m starting to realize there are a few lessons of intrinsic and extrinsic value I will not have time to teach Sam before he leaves for college.

Sure, I think we’ve done an admirable job in several crucial areas:

* Because he knows to take the popcorn out of the plastic wrapper before nuking, he won’t burn down the dorm.
* Because he knows how to separate lights from darks, he won’t turn all his clothes pink.
* Because he can work and play well with others, he won’t become the dorm hermit.
* Because he knows about predatory lending practices, he won’t graduate with future-crushing debt.

Not a bad list for anyone.

Plus, he can do A LOT of things I can’t: Tune a guitar, for example, and at this point, ANY algebra. So maybe the few things I’m ruing say more about my regrets rather than reveal a wisdom gap in Sam. Probably.

And probably the things he will wish he knew are things that aren't even on my radar.

The third week Sam was in Kindergarten, Paul and I went to our very first Back to School night. We were eager young parents delighted to sit in our tiny assigned chairs, marvel at the vivid surroundings, and beam at every class chart that held a laminated index card with SAM D. printed on it. We were thrilled to anticipate all the knowledge our five-year old would gain that wondrous first year of his formal education.

We did not anticipate being sharply reprimanded by his teacher, Mrs. K., who said she was

“SHOCKED that not one of these children can cut along the lines!”

Paul and I leaned into each other and whispered, “Isn’t that what they’re supposed to learn in Kindergarten?”

I will keep that Kindergarten Back to School Night in mind as Sam departs for college. Lessons will fall on both sides of the ledger: learned and not yet learned; expected and lacking. Some skills he will proudly display and share; some he will acquire for the first time. And he will be just fine.

Really my regrets aren’t about running out of time to teach Sam skills or share lessons.

My regret is simply running out of time.

For more about Naperville blogger Suzanne Thibeault's winding-down downsizing project, please visit www.500thingsproject.com.

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