Today is the day I wrote my first euro cheque. That’s right… it’s the fancy spelling, ‘cheque’, not the boring American, ‘check’. I know… how, European!

After speaking to the Nevsail Watersports man this morning and being reassured that my son’s limited swimming abilities would be adequate for the camp, considering he will be encased in a wetsuit and life jacket, I decided to ‘take the plunge’ and register him for the July session. Registration requires a €50.00 deposit… which led to the milestone of writing my first euro cheque. This may not seem like a big deal but, once you write a check/cheque from a bank account in a foreign country in the currency of that country… and then actually sign your name to it, it feels sort of like you’ve finally joined the club!

Not only did this event feel symbolic, but I struggled along through the actual writing of the cheque the same way I struggled through the writing of my first U.S. check when I was a teenager which, was probably written when I went to college. Back then it was my mother who walked me through the details of where to put each piece of information, today it was my husband. I phoned him at work to make sure I did everything correctly. He reminded me to write the date the European way which is, 1 February 2010, not February 1, 2010. This is important when using only numbers as in, “1/2/10”. As far as the euro symbol goes, it’s already imprinted on the cheque so I didn’t have to write that, but if I had, I would have had to ask if there are one or two horizontal lines through the “C”. Overall, it was a fairly simple matter. But as much as paying a bill with a check from my bank account here is a simple, non-event, this first euro cheque, just like my first dollar check written back when I was a student, felt like the signing of a legal document and was written with the consideration and care befitting such a document.

When my husband first moved to the U.S. it was I who walked him through the process of writing his first American dollar check. I’ll admit, at the time I was thinking, “What’s the big deal? It’s only a check, you’ve been writing checks all your life!” Now I know what it must have felt like to him. I’ll have to ask him if signing that first check made him feel ‘official’ too. Though I don’t think he’ll ever admit it even phased him, I remember his hesitation and the care he took throughout the process. I also remember him picking it up and looking at it. Maybe he was thinking… “I wonder if they’ll actually cash this.” That’s what I was thinking this morning when I held my first euro cheque in my hand, just before putting it in the envelope for it’s journey to Ireland!

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