When the kids were wee, innocent producers of diaper-filling by-products, I remember gazing into their tiny faces and thinking with motherly love, “If I don’t get these guys potty trained soon, I’m taking a one-way cruise to Tahiti.” They giggled and cooed and made those adorable crinkly-nosed baby faces that God gave them so that mothers wouldn’t try to return them to the factory before the warranty expired. If I had only known then that they were actually saying, “Just wait until I’m sixteen. Then we’ll see who can achieve flight in a Chrysler,” I’d be sunning myself in a Tahitian lounge chair right now.
These days the oldest child is tucked safely away at college on the ten year plan. The youngest is a high school senior, hovering on the brink of independence. He’s been hovering on the brink of independence since he was one year old and refused to eat anything that had seeds, roots, or crust. Now at seventeen, he doesn’t just march to a different drummer, he counts cadence.
For reasons beyond my fathoming ability, the local high school deemed Son Two fit for college courses and tucked him into a program that allows for an earned semester at the local community college during the high school year. It’s my job to be late for work while I chauffer him from one institution of higher learning to the other. As a mother of teenagers, institutions fall within my area of expertise. This morning, Son Two hopped into the car after class, filled with glee and the joy of life. That’s a bad sign.
“Guess what?” This is a generic term that means something has happened that makes his planets align like three bars on a Las Vegas slot machine. He has an odd sense of humor. Gets it from my ex-husband, The Defendant.
I gave him my best Mommy’s Listening to Your Needs look and wheeled up to the Stop sign at the exit of the college parking lot. “What?”
“We took a personality test in Psychology today.”
So far, no speed bumps on the road to higher education. How did I miss the road sign that read Caution: Do Not Enter?
“It listed famous people whose qualities we share.”
I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Who’s Hannibal Lecter?”
They tell me the city will replace the stop sign and insurance will pay for the damage to the car. But I’m probably going to put my therapist’s child through college. I hope he’s not taking psychology. That was Hannibal's major, too.