Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Parenthood and The Price of Stamps

Kath et moi, Wisconsin, circa 1981

The US Postal Service just raised the price of first class stamps again, from 37 to 39 cents. My younger daughter, Kath, still has a couple of books of 37 cent stamps, so she went to the Post Office on Saturday to buy some 2 cent stamps to make the old stamps usable. The Post Office was closed when she got there, but the lobby was still open. She went into the lobby, and immediately noticed that the walls contained numerous banners, all of which read, in bold letters: "NOTICE: We’re OUT of 2 cent stamps!" She sighed, but then spotted a vending machine containing books of stamps of various denominations. She looked into the vending machine to see whether it contained any books of 2 cent stamps. No such luck, but it did have books of 1 cent stamps, so she fed the machine $1.40 to buy 4 books of penny stamps. To her surprise, she received 4 books of 2 cent stamps.

Fast forward to Monday morning. When Kath got to work, she called the Post Office to tell them what had happened, and added, "I still need to pay you what I owe you..." Before she could go on, the clerk interrupted her. He thanked her and said that she didn’t owe the Post Office anything, that she could consider her phone call "payment of the difference".

"Isn’t that cool?" she said, telling me about this when we were having lunch together today, at LaMadeleine. "It's cool, " I agreed, and I couldn’t help but think - there were so many times, when she was growing up, when I was convinced that nothing that I said or did was getting through to her, when I felt like a complete failure as a parent, and I felt such despair, worrying how she’d turn out...but here she is - all grown up, married and a mother herself (and an excellent one) - and she’s bright, and hard working, and funny, and honest - and I am one proud mom.


Tammy said...

Awww Judi, I'm so happy for you! Seeing all your motherly duties come to fruition. I can feel your heart bursting, I know mine would be :)

Gee, you look so young and beautiful! Grandma...no way :)

Lisa :-] said...

So nice to be able to look back and realize it really was worth it after all...

Paul said...

Jayz, what a cutie! The baby is kinda cute, too.

Kimberleigh said...

When my conscious seems to escape me, I always hear my Mother's voice telling me to always do the right things even after all these years and with my own kids when I don't think they are listening, I over hear them often repeating some of my advice on to their friends! makes all those lectures worth while! lol


Gannet Girl said...

Congratulations on a job well done -- and great pic!

Jod{i} said...

A true testament that children become what they live in...wouldnt you say Mom?

Great story! It is a joy to see and to hear the beauty of our children, and to have that moment of being able to nod and think to ourselves, "Yea...did good!"


Anonymous said...

sigh. Mom, thanks for delivering that in such a mom-like way, right in the middle of me giving you a good hard time, "Just go read my blog, dear". This will go on forever I imagine. Ok, that's it, I'm rebelling, as soon as I think of something that is sane, safe, quiet, and won't disrupt my being a parent... I'm gonna think of something to throw you off... you wait and see...still thinking...it'll come to me... -kath

Bluwave said...

Cute pic!

I'm always surprised when I do something right (for many reasons!) and I hear my mother say, "Well, I guess I wasn't a complete failure as a parent". Sigh.


dreaminglily said...

Aww... Melts my heart. So sweet.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness ... I could have written this entry ! Honestly, there were days when my daughter and I butted heads so bad that I thought neither of us would ever get past it. And now we are the best of friends. AND, your daughter calling the post office sounds exactly like something my daughter would do, too. Isn't it wonderful to be able to relax and enjoy her now ? I know I am loving it ! Tina
p.s. I noticed your daughter left a comment ..... funny, I just wrote an entry about my son last week, and posted his comment,too!

Brenden said...

I have a confession--when Kath came home with the two-cent stamps, I was urging her to go back and clean out the machine.

For the past month, the vending machine at work has been dispensing double items when you select certain buttons. For instance, pressing C44 will retrieve one item from C44, and one item from D44.

I'll have to talk to the vending guy tomorrow.

As for the part about calling the post office the next day...what became of this benevolent Kath?