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Calculator? Check.

Door stopper? Check.

Pliers? Band-Aids? Printer paper?

Check, check, check.

Duct tape, Scotch tape, masking tape, packing tape. You name it, she’ll be able to tape it.

Now that we know what to buy, the only problem is paying for all of it. Not that this is my problem, mind you, but it’s a problem none the less.

Up to now, Katie has lived in a blissful state of dependence, accepting the seemingly limitless largesse of her parents. Every time she needed running shoes or school supplies or an aspirin tablet, all she had to do was say so.

As a high school student, our daughter was held accountable for good grades, sports and music participation, community service, church activities and a full complement of household chores. We didn’t ask her to take a part-time job because we figured it would cut into other important responsibilities, such as sleeping, eating and bathing.

Instead, she took the odd baby-sitting job to put cash in her pocket. It’s been a charmed life, and she knows it.

But, as they say, those days are over. We figure the price of tuition, room, board and travel is enough for our side of the ledger; the rest is up to our daughter.

Already she’s hoarding her cash and shopping sales. Her trip to the office-supply place set her back a few hundred dollars, which happened to be roughly twice what she thought she would spend, and there still is lots on the list yet to buy.

I can’t help but note that it was never soul-wrenching to spend money when it came from mom’s wallet. Funny how financial responsibility changes one’s perspective.

Was I just a teensy bit happy to see the blood drain from my daughter’s cheeks as the cashier at Staples announced the grand total for a cartful of storage crates, notebooks, desk supplies and dorm-room paraphernalia?

OK, this may sound sadistic, but I’m not going to lie. I’m glad to see that these major shopping sprees are teaching her the value of a dollar — which is to say, not much.

To her credit, Katie has always effused her gratitude to us. However, nothing makes a new college student appreciate her parents as much as that seminal moment when she pulls out her own money to pay for all her own stuff.

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