This has been a year of major milestones for our family, not the least of which was the realization that I might finally be allowed to use our bathroom. After 17 years of mentoring and molding, we finally sent a child off to college. Unfortunately, it was the wrong child, so we had to go back and drag our 15-year-old out of the dorm, scold her for impersonating her older sister, and demand to know what she had done with her.
But we got that straightened out, freed our eldest from her sister's closet where she had been left with food, water, and four Harry Potter books (which, our youngest reasoned, is all anyone really needs for survival), and shipped off the correct daughter to a small college in upstate New York. We chose this school for its rigorous academic tradition, its generous endowment, and for its long and harsh winters. The latter was important, we felt, since it would shorten the time our child walked around in her typical teen-ager attire which, in Greek mythology, would cause distraught sailors to plunge to their deaths in an effort to reach shore. We figured a couple winters in New York would turn her into a more sensible dresser, one who, when walking down a city street, would not be mistaken for a pop star or a prostitute. (It's so hard to tell the difference these days. In my youth, you could always identify the former by their heavy make-up, flashy clothes, and garish wigs. Or am I thinking of Little Richard?)