I consider myself a pretty practical and realistic person, bordering on the pessimistic. I am by no means an optimist. But I did think this parenting thing was supposed to get easier at some point. I mean, I have two boys (the easier gender to raise, I assure you) and they have attained the ages of eighteen and eleven. Yes, they have given me many sleepless nights and gray hairs in the process (gray hairs hidden by Lydia, thanks so much!) but I sincerely thought I was making progress. Then, today, two things happened. My eldest was accepted to the college of his choice for next year. I am very happy for him, really I am. I love the college he selected, and I know he will be happy there, and hopefully learn something he can turn into a career. Also, I took my eleven-year-old and his friend out for lunch and a movie. The friend is a girl, and she’s very sweet. But it’s all very new to me, because my eldest, at this age, still thought girls had cooties. Really, I don’t think he even wanted to sit next to them in class, let alone sit next to them in a darkened movie theater. And let me tell you, I encouraged the “cooties” idea as long as I could. I blame my eldest. He brought his beautiful girlfriend over, and she and he sat close together on the sofa, and my younger child saw that his brother did not sicken and die from snuggling up to the pretty girl, and figured he was home free. Hmmm, perhaps Aaron going off to college isn’t such a bad idea after all.