You know the second they hand you that beautiful little bundle in the delivery room? That moment that couldn't be more awe-inspiring and heavenly? (Well, okay - assuming you had good drugs and/or complete amnesia for the past twelve hours.) There is something that awakens in the brain. Remotely, deeply, a small seed that begins to grow slowly over time...
You don't know really what it is - and after those first few blissful years of cuteness and toddlerhood, you begin to think it's taking shape somehow. As if you can almost put your finger on it.
Getting into the school years, it starts to feel like a loathsome dread - a black cloud hanging over you. That there is a mysterious facet of parenthood ahead that you had not anticipating while rolling around in the hay with your spouse, hurtling toward the bliss of procreation. You think it might involve organized sports and the demise of your beloved offspring in some freak basketball mishap. It continues to elude you for a few more years.
Finally, it hits you when the child enters the sixth grade. It is only then that the veil is lifted and realize the true horror of what lies before you. The one thing that you forgot, that has had parents and children locked in one of the most brutal conflicts of all time.
THE DREADED SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT.