Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

High school years come rushing in — and mom's not ready for them

The dog days are in full swing and already we're getting "back to school."

High school, that is.

Yes, we're on the cusp of the landmark freshman year for the youngest, who has seemingly leapfrogged into young adulthood and wants to know if she is finally allowed to wear eyeliner and maybe a little mascara, too.

I am so not ready for this.

That's what happens when time gets the better of you. Mondays melt into Fridays. Summers fly. Years whiz by, bringing noble thoughts that an evolved kind of wisdom might just be brewing behind the crow's feet.

Here goes: Blessed are the parents of late bloomers because they tend to rest easier.

I know this to be true because I have borne two of those.

It's pretty much been the tortoise tread for my eldest and the middle child, too, who really did buy into the philosophy that "slow but steady wins the race." No kidding — while other parents were worrying about their teenagers being out on the road, I literally had to prod, threaten and cajole both of them into getting their driver's licenses at the ripe ages of 17 and 18.

Different story for the youngest, who moves at a hare's pace and is counting the days till she's eligible for her learner's permit. That would be 30-something days now. I'm trying to lose track and once more offering advice to "just take your time, dear."

"Insurance is pretty expensive, you know, so it will be a while," I tell her.

"I'll just get a job and pay for it myself," she counters.

No doubt.

That would be the way for the youngest, who bounded into our family nearly 15 years ago with an independent streak and an innate determination to catch up to her older siblings.

I was so not ready for that.

Even her impending birth was a bit of a surprise, coming well after we had finally disposed of the crib, the high chair and everything baby.

But life often defies planning, so there I was in my late, late 30s wondering if my uterus would hold out while the old man rambled on about how he'd be close to retirement when this baby got around to graduating high school.

It's a real test to your patience and your endurance to go back to the beginning after thinking you're done chasing a fast-moving toddler or having to mingle at a preschool open house with a whipper-snapper mom who's made the assumption that you're the doting grandma.

Happened more than once, I'm afraid. Still does on occasion.

But you're as old as you feel, and so I have to admit that the youngest has stretched her parents' youth some, bringing us to pause while our peers were pining over the loss of Santa, the tooth fairy and much that was still magical in our home. Having a kindergarten kid around certainly eased our eldest's departure when he left for his first year of college — even if the little one did get in trouble for defying the nap time rule. Now, as our contemporaries tout the freedom that comes with an empty nest, we feel a warm comfort in knowing she's stuck at home with us for a bit longer.

Even so, the youngster seems to be catching up.

"Who's older?" people always want to know when I introduce my two daughters who are actually five years apart.

Believe it or not, that would be the one not wearing eyeliner.

Once again, I am so not ready for this.

Michele Miller can be reached at miller@sptimes or at (727) 869-6251.

High school years come rushing in — and mom's not ready for them 08/04/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 7:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete Beach beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  2. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  3. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark


    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    (from left to right) Aaron Sharockman, Politifact executive director introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, Politifact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair and Tampa Bay Times Editor and Vice President Neil Brown at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event celebrated 10 years of PolitiFact and its growth since 2007. The panel discussed the history of the organization and how it goes about fact-checking. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  4. Trump, McConnell feud threatens GOP agenda


    The relationship between President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell has fumed over Trump’s criticism.
  5. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]