There's nothing more glorious than this time of year with recitals, proms, driving school, and college testing, said nobody, ever.
Could there be more days filled with running and strife? Well, let's see, the great sibling experiment has gone from sweetness and light to epic failure to communicate, we're counting down to the last two recitals of the year (with two shows in one of them and enough dress rehearsal machinations to choke a horse), driving school for four hours on Saturday mornings, and just to make things interesting, the first go-round of SAT and ACT testing, which apparently will determine if she gets into college or becomes homeless. No pressure, right?
Now is the time of the year when every day is a challenge, a game of beat-the-clock with all the things that need to get done, worked on, studied for, and other things that should, but won't be dealt with, so will be avoided.
Things at home began to sour between EB and her friend Maria, about three weeks after Maria moved in. At first, it was great. They would go out together, or if they were out separately, would meet up to come home together. The first hiccups came when Maria kept having to be told not to borrow EB's things without asking. Small things, mascara, clothing, towels, earrings, would inexplicably wind up in Maria's room after she was asked about it and denied knowledge. But unbeknownst to me, EB never got over an earlier problem with the house keys. See, Maria had "borrowed" her purse, and then made an incredibly stupid decision in which she collided with a parked car when she had no business driving (no license, no permit and apparently no common sense). EB's keys were lost in the car in the confusion of the crash. So EB knew about what happened, but was sworn to secrecy. When the keys finally came home because the owner of the car (who stupidly had allowed Maria to drive) showed up with them, but looking for money to fix his damaged car, the story came out.
From then, the "hiccups" got bigger, and more annoying. Maria still keeps her room like a pigsty, so while once we had thought we would allow her to stay until she finished high school, we've decided it would be best for her to find other arrangements. She finally stopped "borrowing" from EB, but only because the two had a huge argument that involved another friend. While Maria is pleasant enough to EB's dad and me, the two former good friends are more like ships that grudgingly pass in the night. And yes, I'm still telling this grown woman she has to get up and go to school, make her bed, clean her room. EB is disgusted by her and tries to stay out of her own house as much as possible. I've talked about forgiveness and compassion with EB, consequences and cleanliness with Maria. I'm just ready for both girls to get over themselves.
Then there was prom No. 2. EB again couldn't find a dress she liked and I refused to pay $200 or more for a dress she would more than likely wear only once. So we went back to Burlington Coat Factory, found an $80 dress that needed just a few adjustments to work for her. Luckily, one of my best friends knows how to make those kind of sewing miracles happen, and EB ended up loving the dress that she was first ready to throw a tantrum about. She seemed to think I cared that she threatened not to get anything. The (il)logic of a teenager is astounding. Tantrums were brewing though. She decided she didn't like the way the woman at Ulta did her makeup, although she didn't tell her. She waited until we got back in the car and then blamed me. I told her if she didn't like it, she should have spoken up, it's her face. She said I always get mad if she says something. That just wasn't true. She was just anxious and frustrated (the hairdresser was late, and traffic stunk, so once again we were rushed for time), so she decided to have a show about how ugly she looked and how it was my fault. Sorry sister, this is where I came in 15 years ago. If I could ignore your crazy rantings when you were two, I can certainly ignore them now. By the way, she looked beautiful.
Anyway, once she got home, got dressed, took a few pictures before and after incredibly cute boyfriend showed up, Cinderella was off to the ball again (good riddance). And this time, she had a ball. She got home late, exhausted, and happy. They had a great time, music and DJ were "lit" and she danced the night away. Two other girls had the same dress, another had the expensive one she wanted but didn't buy, and yet the world kept spinning on its axis. I only have to do that particular nightmare one more time. These are the times I wish I drank -- and am glad that I don't.
But we still have recitals, rehearsals, college testing and graduation (not hers, his) to get through. The calendar is filled, the tension is high and there is little relief in sight for the next month. Once again, I'll just keep swimming. I just wish it didn't feel like it was all upstream.