Thursday, March 18, 2010

Junipers Can Bite Me

I hate junipers. They’re ugly. Their green isn’t even a pretty green; I would never wear it or paint my house with it. I don’t drink gin. Junipers are the least useful, most wasted spaces of life on this planet. Worst of all, they give me allergies. They are the only thing I’m allergic to and I lived the first 30 years of my life completely allergy-free. Until I lived in Bend for seven years and developed this god-forsaken juniper allergy.

I made it through winter with only a slightly sore throat. I steered clear of the pig flu, stomach flu and any other cold-related virus. Invincibility was mine. Until spring sprung with fucking juniper pollen. I woke up the first day with burning, blurry eyes, like I’d had an all-night cry or drinking binge. I’d had neither. The next day I sat at my desk sniffling for the last two hours of the afternoon. Last night I was literally attacked by pollen while washing my face. It’s pretty pathetic to have go to bed at 9:30 at night because it hurts too bad to keep my eyes open.

Yep, I can’t truly enjoy the 60+ degree sunny days in March because I want to tear my eyeballs out of my head. The worst is when it snows AND I have out of control allergy symptoms. That’s a really special kind of hell.

I think all junipers should be eradicated. Seriously. I would run for office to become President of the United States of America just so I could burn the fuckers down and remove them permanently from the earth. I would make it illegal to grow them. Grow all the marijuana you want, but plant a single juniper seed and be put to death. Slowly and painfully.

Junipers can suck it. Hard.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's Final Exam Time

Last night was high school orientation for the parents of new, ingoing students. High school. The words alone make me break out into a cold sweat. High school. I absolutely shudder at the thought. I’ve always known this day was coming. I just didn’t know it was Now. And I’m much better with some ideas in theory than I am once they’re put into practice. I know D is going to high school next year, but I didn’t really “know” it until orientation made it real. Real scary.

I found myself tearing up in the auditorium during the orientation. It didn’t help that the principal and vice principal were using words like “involvement” and “insight” and reminding us parents that even though our kids might seem like they’re growing up and don’t need us as much, now is the time that they need us more than ever. We were warned to not back off.

They went on to brag about their academic success, the number of social clubs available, how well their sports teams are faring this year. They told us how classes are chosen and how students are prepared for college and, ultimately, life.

And I was holding back tears because I realized, this is It. This is the real test and I don’t think I’m ready. I feel like my life is about to go into fast forward; I’ll blink and the next four years will be over and D will be gone. I don’t know that I have the energy or the strength to get her through it. I doubt whether my parenting skills can see us both safely to the other side.

She is so excited. She’s scared too, but it’s the good kind because it’s filled with hope and wonder and a sense of adventure. She’s about to embark on a whole new journey full of friends, football games, dates and dances. She’ll face new challenges academically as well as socially and start preparing herself for real life. A real, grownup life that doesn’t include me. Not so much.

I don’t know how to prepare her for her own life. The disappointments and heartbreak I know she’ll face. The frustrations and the stress of learning how to make her way in the world. I’m most afraid because it’s all on me. I never expected or wanted to be single with a high school student. I thought I’d have a partner, a backup, someone to hold my hand and figure it out with me. I don’t even have my own life together most days, and now I have to figure this part out on my own. I hope my mistakes aren’t the kind that can’t be erased.

I wish I could share her enthusiasm and embrace this part of our lives. I wish I could know that her life will be beautiful and full of all of the happiness and love and adventure I want for her. I’m afraid the best I can do right now is take it one step at a time and learn as we go and hope that we make it in one piece. I hope my best is good enough, but I know she deserves far better than just good enough.
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