First Time Listening

I’m not a great first time listener.  I have a long history of believing I’ll have more time, that I’ll get one more chance.

In college, I didn’t really pay attention to my early education classes.  After all, it was called Intro to Education.  That’s like the preface before the book, right?  A foreword?  Surely they’ll cover this again later.  I don’t have to read everything yet.

It’s true with the mail, too.  I don’t really pay attention to things the first time around.  If the envelope isn’t handwritten, then I wait a while to open it.  And even then, I assure myself that they’ll send me another notice if they mean business.

But then I lose my cable connection.  Or my child loses his healthcare coverage.  Or a legal notice arrives from the Department of Transportation.   You know, just some hypothetical examples.

Oh, right.  Those pesky little details.  Picky, picky.

(Robb showed me – repeatedly – his bill paying system.  He showed me on the computer, he showed me his paper trail, and I even recall something about the direction in which he filed the envelopes.  These all meant something.  And I rolled my eyes with naievete, I paid little to no attention.)

I thought I had more time.  I thought someone would send me a written notice, or at the very least he would repeat himself again.

It’s no wonder I see these same tendencies in my children.  I repeat myself incessantly, even though I know the parenting books tell me not to.  They’re conditioned to believe they’ll have more time.

They come by it honestly.

Hey, guys?  Sometimes time runs out.  Sometimes it mattered the last time you heard it, not the next time.

Please, take my word for it.