Hugh has a folder labeled MORE CRAP.  This might seem like an unlikely file for a carefree 16-year-old who, after all, is not paying a mortgage, balancing a family budget, handling home repairs, or cooking meals.

However, it turns out that  junior year is a time of huge stress, by American kid standards.

A blizzard of mail has been arriving since September, most from colleges we’ve never heard of.  Hugh has not tossed any of it out, and he plows through it one envelope at a time.

Hugh’s course load this semester contains all serious classes.  Evenings and weekends are spent working on projects with friends.  (Or so he tells us).

Tennis team starts soon, with its rigorous practices and distant away-matches.

And then there’s Hugh’s part-time job as chief dishwasher and factotum at a local market/cafe.

All this, plus he has to learn how to parallel park by next Tuesday, when his driving test will take place.

By comparison, my own life at the moment is just a bowl of cherries.  Plus, after years of living in the city, I am already an excellent parallel parker.  Nothing like real-life experience to teach that particular skill.

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