Good-Bye, Mr. Blib

Good-Bye, Mr. Blib

From Chicken Soup for the College Soul

Good-Bye, Mr. Blib

Mr. Blib is graduating from high school next week.

Mr. Blib is my boy. The school thinks he’s ready to go away to college. He and the other members of his class also think they’re ready to leave home.

But I’m here to say he’s not the least bit ready.

I have taught my boy many things in eighteen years. He knows to put the knife on the right, blade in. He knows I will eventually find out what long-distance phone calls he’s made because they get listed on the bill. He knows not to lie.

But as the weeks tick by before he leaves for college, it’s the things I haven’t yet taught him that plague me.

I don’t think, for example, that he fully understands about checking accounts. I think he believes there’s a check heaven, and that no one will ever be the wiser if he overdraws his account.

I’m afraid he won’t keep track of the oil in his car or make sure there’s air in the spare.

He still doesn’t know how to line up his pant seams properly on the rare occasions that he hangs them up.

He has no instinct for shopping. When he runs out of shaving cream at school, I’m not sure it will occur to him to go buy more. Instead, I think he’ll call me collect and ask me to put it on the list.

He still puts metal in the microwave once in a while, and he’s never in his life managed to unwad a pair of socks before putting them in the hamper.

I also haven’t taught him about the motor vehicle department. How can he possibly go away to college when he doesn’t even know enough to fill out the correct forms before standing in line?

He’s just not ready. No way.

On the other hand, I’m ready for him to leave. Jeez, I doubt I’ll hardly miss him once he’s gone.

I’m sure not going to miss the fact that he uses up all the hot water in the house. I haven’t had a hot shower since he was five and started taking charge of his own hygiene.

I’m sure not going to miss his crisis-management style of living, either. Everything is an emergency in that boy’s life, whether it’s a missing tape cassette or hunger.

I won’t miss his counsel about the mistakes I make raising his younger brother. In fact, he still dwells on the mistake I made in having his younger brother, and I’m tired of hearing it.

I won’t miss his stubbornness, either. Once, when he was four years old, we made a deal—he would stop sucking his thumb and I would stop smoking. He quit sucking his thumb on the spot and never put it in his mouth again. I still smoke.

What kind of person is that to have around the house? Who would miss such a stubborn, strong-willed boy? He’s like this about everything.

And noisy! I’m sure not going to miss how noisy he is. He’s always laughing too loud. He’s so ready to see the humor in something, he even laughs when I tell a story that makes him look the fool.

Like the Mr. Blib story. I call him Mr. Blib because he once told me he was blib.

“You know Mom, I’m pretty blib,” he told me.

“Blib?” I said. “What’s blib?”

“You know—good with words,” he said glibly.

Now who could miss such a blib boy? A boy who laughs at himself when I tell this story?

I’m sure not going to miss talking to him at the dinner table or having a late-night snack with him when he comes home from a date. And skiing with him—why would I miss that? He goes too fast, anyhow.

And I sure won’t miss him relying on me for advice. What’s the big deal? Who cares if he starts making all his own decisions and doesn’t need me anymore?

Look, I’m ready for this, no problem.

It’s just him. He’s the one I’m worried about.

Beth Mullally

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