February 17, 2010

Welcome to Adulthood, M'Dear...

When I was a kid, I must admit that my mom was wonderful and took care of a lot of things for me, well into my adult years.  I don't know why she did it... whether it was a control thing on her part, or just because she loved me and wanted to do it.

Filing paperwork was something my mom just did for me.  Especially taxes.  I never filled out and filed my own tax return until I was (gasp) 25 years old!  I honestly didn't think much of it.  My mom just did it until I moved out of the house and to a different state.  Thanks, mom, that was awesome of you!  I even remember the first time I did it.  I was sitting on my bed surrounded by paperwork... tax instruction booklets, multiple tax forms (the one thing Mom did tell me was to do it in pencil first then copy it to a fresh form in ink), W-2s (multiple) and various other odds and ends.  I'm a smart girl... I had every bit of confidence I could do it, but as most of us know... tax forms aren't light reading material!  In the best case scenario, they're barely comprehensible!  But I did it... filed... refund... success!  What an accomplishment.

Now I'm a (step)mom and I have taken on some of my own mother's traits.  I filed taxes for our eldest daughter up until the time she left home.  Our son has been working for only 2 full tax years, and so, last year was the first time he ever had to file. As we were in a bit of a struggle with him, I just went ahead and filed for him, just to make it one less thing to "deal" with.  This year, however, I asked him if he wanted me to do it for him, or if he wanted to give it a try.  He said he'd do it, with my help.

Go, Boy, Go!  I was impressed.  I admit, there is a huge back story here that most of you don't know... but this was a HUGE step for my man-child to make into adulthood. 

Tonight was the night.  I have been "teaching" Boy to complete his taxes for the past three hours.  He just finished his last form.  Granted, tax filing is a bit more advanced these days.  He did two forms online (federal and local) but he filled out the state form via the good, old-fashioned paper route. 

I'm greyer.  I'm balder.  I'm a little hoarse, and my eyes hurt from all that (behind his back) rolling around... (because of him asking the SAME question 20 times).  My blood pressure is a little high from having to re-teach him basic math and correspondence skills.  Let me explain that last one... he told me he "didn't need" to know math and he "didn't need" to know how to address an envelope, because he has a calculator and email.  He was joking.  I was not.   It is one of my biggest frustrations and fears - his lack of "skills" which I attribute directly back to very poor homeschooling from his mother.  His older sister has the same struggles... oh, but that's a whole different soapbox.

In spite of it all, he did it.  I am so, so proud of him.  He did his taxes.  He's getting a mighty refund (what a great reward)!  And neither of us is dead.

When he was done and expressing his gratitude (in his own unique way) that it was over after three grueling hours, all I could say was, "Welcome to adulthood, m'dear." 

Ahhh, if only all children who yearn to "grow up fast" could understand... it's not all about what you "can" do when you grow up... it's about what you have to sometimes.


  1. Great post. My oldest is in college and I'm doing all her banking and her taxes. At some point I'll need to sit her down and show her how to do it herself.

  2. I clearly remember one of the first things we did in my senior year Government class was learn how to file taxes (and he tested us at the end of it all), because as my teacher told us everyday, "There are only two things certain in this life, Death and Taxes". We learned the old-fashined way (paper and pencil), but I will always be so greatful that he made us learn it. Too bad there aren't more teachers like that.

  3. Well, i admire your patience..that's a job well done :) (It's easy for me to say, I married an accountant)


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