Boy Versus The Mailbox


Something occurred one day which makes me realize how much we adults take for granted.

My eleven year old son and I stopped by the local grocery store one afternoon so I could dash in to pick up some birthday cards to mail to my mother. After purchasing them, I took the cards to the car, signed them, then drove back to the front of the store so I could drop them into the blue US Postal Service mailbox. Since my son was sitting in the passenger seat, I handed the cards to him and asked him to hop out to put them in the box, not thinking much about the task he had to accomplish.

He got out the car and headed over to the box. But instead of opening the door and putting the cards inside, he just stared at the mailbox, as if it were some foreign being. He first reached down to the door where the mail carrier opens it, and tugged on that door, with no success. He then looked at the top door and pulled on that as well, but it wouldn’t open. He finally figured out where to put the mail, and slid the letters in. He hopped back into the car and grumbled, defending his lack of knowledge regarding his task: ”That mailbox is so stone age I couldn’t figure out how to use it!”

When telling this story to a friend of mine, she shared this one with me:

When we were on vacation we saw a pay phone, and my son asked, “What’s that, Mom?”

Me: “It’s for people without a cell phone so they can make calls while they are away from home.”
Son: “Who doesn’t have a cell phone?”
Me: “You! You don’t have a cell phone so you had better figure out how the pay phone works!”

(image courtesy of Stuart Miles/