8 years prior: Fly by the seat of your pants when Fido the family dog dies. Have husband come home early from work. Say goodbye to Fido and, for the first time, cry together as a family. Tell the quasi truth—Fido will return in a cool ceramic jar after a trip to the Doggie Shrinking Machine.
7 Years Prior: Buy puppy. Comfort daughter when puppy chews the extremities off her $100 American Girl Doll. Send doll to doll “hospital” for repairs. Pretend you don’t care what it costs.
6 Years Prior: Announce daddy has a new job three states away. Leave the only house and friends she’s ever known, plus daily visits with Grandpa and the next door neighbor/substitute Grandma who cared for her since she was born, to start all over midway through 3rd grade. After driving her to private school for 8 years, stand daughter on her new street corner with other public school kids, who, judging by the look of the other Bus Stop Mommies, you assume are not future ax murderers but rather might also have an entire room in their house devoted to Barney, books and Barbies.
5 Years Prior: Learn once sweet and seemingly harmless female classmates (and their mothers) can and often do turn into first-rate back stabbing bitches. Thank God as her tears dry when she falls in love with all things Horse.
4 Years Prior: Spend every waking moment driving back and forth to horse barn, horse shows and horse tack store. Pretend you don’t care what it costs.
3 Years Prior: Survive obtaining her Learner’s Permit. Survive her driving you through empty parking lots and intersections. Survive leasing a horse and watching her jump it over fences.
2 Years Prior: Live through her first car accident. Then the second. Pretend you don’t care what it costs because she’s alive and uninjured.
1 Year Prior: Visit colleges. Buy bigger mailbox to handle influx of recruitment materials. Hand her Visa card for application fees.
6 months prior: Scream till your throat is raw when she gets a personal phone call telling her she got accepted into her favorite college. Pretend you don’t care what it costs. Apply for student loans.
Mail graduation announcements. Sacrifice Botox budget for prom dress, shoes, salon visit and dinner. Cry while taking prom photos while secretly hoping she can wear that outfit again in college. Cry when she has to say goodbye to her horse while secretly grateful you can apply that money towards tuition. Cry when Pomp and Circumstances starts playing while secretly admitting how much you’re going to miss her.
Contemplate getting a puppy.