Every have something you dreaded hanging over your head? Something that literally makes you physically sick to think about? Something that comes at you like an oncoming train, that looms over everything?
Our Sassy Saint is starting high school in the fall.
Let that sink in.
She brought home her proposed schedule for next fall, and she had it all filled out. All I needed to do was sign it.
"What's this?" I pointed at one of the classes she penciled in: Journalism.
"Those are just in case I don't get my first pick," she said. "Don't worry, I probably won't be in those ones."
"But why that?" That, of course, being journalism.
"Everyone at school thinks your job is cool," she said.
"I think I'm getting an ulcer." It's either stress- or coffee-related. Maybe a little bit of both. "I want you to do better than I have done. Besides, I thought you wanted to be a psychologist? Why don't you take some more science courses instead?"
She shrugged. "There's none available. I wanted to take a writing course."
"Take creative writing instead. You'll enjoy it more."
"I probably won't even get it. My schedule is full."
"I'm not signing it as long as that's on there."
She rolled her eyes, but she changed it. So I signed.
Her first formal dance also is this spring, and I'm not looking forward to that, either. Although our second foray into dress shopping was a success, it took us four separate trips to find a necklace she liked and I could live with.
I wanted her to wear a statement piece, and she wanted a discreet pendant. We hated everything the other picked.
"No," I said, looking at her latest suggestion, which I could barely see. "Bigger."
She sighed. "I feel uncomfortable when people look at me."
"You're going to glitter from head to toe, so what's a little extra bling?"
"Can I have something in silver? I like silver."
"Then you shouldn't have picked a gold dress."
She drooped all over, and I was sure we would never escape the clutches of the mall. I even braced myself and waded into those tween accessory stores, but we finally agreed on something - we didn't like anything in any of them.
She got her silver necklace - with gold bead accents - and we compromised on the size.
But she still won't talk about how she wants her hair done.
The Long Suffering Husband and I were recently discussing Sass's upcoming milestones and how time flies when you're having fun - or when you're just racing to keep up.
"She'll be 15 this fall," I said. "I don't know if I'm ready."
"You know what that means, right?" he asked.
"No." What fresh hell awaited us? Dating?
"She'll be eligible for a permit."
It's situations like this I wish I had a violinist following me around, just to play the "Jaws" theme when appropriate.
"You are teaching her to drive," I said. "That way, she makes it to 16."
(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)