Childhood Cancer Orange Juice Alarm Clock

It was my Senior year of high school.

Childhood Cancer Orange Juice

A Glass of Orange Juice

Mom and Dad had some rituals for our Senior year.

I’d already applied for early admission to college after a two-week trip to various colleges the summer before, driven and set up by my Dad.

It was a father-daughter trip never to be repeated.

I was accepted to Michigan State in the fall.

But, when my Senior year started, I also no longer had to use an alarm clock to get up.

Mom woke me up gently, holding a glass of freshly-made orange juice.

She made orange juice from frozen concentrate every morning.

There was just enough for five juice glasses, so we each got one to go with our cereal.

The only other time food or drink was delivered to our beds was if we were sick.

She knew what we didn’t yet fully understand. We would soon be gone.

We only knew we were getting a treat to celebrate our impending graduation.

Our parents had said while we were growing up that they weren’t raising us to be successful children.

They were raising us to be successful adults.

They expected us to move out at 18, preferably to go to college.

If they had to nudge us out of the nest with an orange juice treat, why not?

When Did You Get Your First Checkbook?

Dad, an accountant, took each of us to the bank our Senior year of high school to open a bank account.

He oversaw while we wrote checks to practice.

Then, he taught us how to reconcile our monthly statements.

I reconciled my bank statements to the penny for the next ten years.

None of us had gotten allowances since we were 12, as we all had various jobs, baby-sitting and newspaper delivery.

Now, my customers no longer had to pay me in cash.

My father told us that we would be very glad we already knew how to write checks and balance our checkbooks when we got to college.

As predicted, most of my friends in college were writing checks for the first time, far from the parents who could have guided them.

Dad was right.

And, now they say that drinking orange juice regularly, and eating oranges and bananas reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

Children have a 48% lower risk if they drink orange juice regularly and 51% lower risk if they eat oranges and bananas, especially in the first two years.

Childhood cancer and orange juice. Alarm clocks and graduation. Checkbooks and baby-sitting.

Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Dad.

Go, Eagles!

When did you write your first check?

Did your parents do anything special when you graduated from high school?

How did you celebrate when your children graduated?

To you and marking the waypoints of your grandchildren.

Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers

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