MAN OF THE HOUSE

Chris Erskine: Graduation night

In just a couple of months, the little girl will leave for college.

This is the quirkiness we will miss, one of the oddities that will leave life a little empty after our teenager jets off to college in August, miserable August, only two months away.

The other morning, I walk into the kitchen to find Posh washing three waffle-makers the little girl had used to make breakfast for her high school class last week. As you may know, the last month of senior year is like the last month of an American presidency, nothing much. In fact, the teacher had turned the classroom over to the students, who took turns arranging activities, mostly showing movies and such.

Well, when their turn comes around, the little girl and a couple of friends decide to make waffles for the class, since teenagers are always willing to eat, especially meals of dubious nutritional value.

Before it is over, the waffles smog up the classroom so badly that the smoke detectors go off, the fire alarm sounds and the entire school is evacuated.

Good thing our daughter's graduating high school -- before she burns the whole stinkin' place to the ground.

::

Posh and I have always been very careful when it comes to making babies. We rely on the same birth control methods as hillbillies: whiskey and religion. Before being romantic, my wife downs a shot of Jack Daniel's, slams the shot glass to the bar and shouts: "Please God, not another one."

Four kids later, we are still parenting, we are still together. A long marriage like this is an odd thing in itself -- like a lie detector test that won't end.

"Are you mad at me?"

No.

"Want to fool around?"

No.

"Bowl of ice cream?"

OK.

Of course, lust is always out there -- irrefutable, like humidity -- but these days we are mostly bound together by our children. They are our hobby. They are our passion. They are our life.

These are the questions we mostly ask:

* Where are they?

* Whom are they with?

* What are they burning down tonight?

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