EVE IS ABOUT to turn 13. That's scary. Not zombie-movie, brain-eating scary, but scary just the same.
Why would I be afraid, you ask? Perhaps those of you without daughters are unaware of this, but there's nothing in the world more dangerous than a teenage girl.
Let's set aside the fact that when they reach teen status, their hormones go into overdrive, transforming them into Linda Blair from "The Exorcist," complete with spinning heads, clammy skin and the voice of Barry White.
Let's also forget that they become boy-crazy fanatics who are apt to fall for losers like Tyrone from 25th Street. The potential for that is there, of course, and while I don't expect to get a full dose from Eve, I know I will get my share. That's not to say she's a bad kid. In fact, she's been a model daughter. But let's keep it real. In a few weeks she will officially be a teen, and at that point, it will be game on.
I know there are those of you who believe I'm overreacting. You think I'm being paranoid about my daughter's journey into adolescence. Well, let me tell you something. I have a 22-year-old daughter who trained me in the ways of teenage girls, and I still bear the scars from the experience.
I learned a few things about girls from having a teenage daughter. I learned that girls are diabolical in the planning and execution of their schemes. In fact, they're so good that if Army generals would simply step aside and allow teenage girls to draw up their battle plans, America would win every war on gossip alone. We'd never have to fire a shot.
Girls are so sneaky that cat burglars consult them for tips. They're so sly that the Family Stone couldn't function without them. They're so well-organized that you have to use spreadsheets to keep track of their shenanigans. In other words, you have to actually watch girls, because they do stuff with the intention of getting away with it. Boys? They just wait to get caught.
My Eve is going to be different, though. She's going to be the kind of kid I can trust. She's going to listen to her daddy and love him with all her heart. She's going to kick Little Tyrone to the curb the minute he approaches her with his game about how pretty she is.
Well, at least that's what I hope. For now, though, I guess the best I can do is deal with the reality of having a preteen and take it as it comes.
Thankfully, Eve hasn't made any outrageous demands yet, other than to ask for a fairly expensive birthday party.
The one subject she's broached, though, is makeup. No, not the garishly colored face paint that makes little girls look like they escaped from P. T. Barnum's big tent. Nor was she talking about the inky black mascara that makes girls resemble raccoons.
No, Eve wants to wear eye shadow. That, along with her lip gloss would take her about a quarter of the way to the land of full makeup. She won't be allowed to wear foundation, blush, lipstick or eyeliner. Just eye shadow to accentuate her lovely eyes.
That sounds reasonable, right? A little eye shadow at 13 shouldn't be a big deal, should it?
Well, if you want to know the truth, the eye shadow thing scares me. It scares me a lot more than the prospect of Eve lying and sneaking. You see, she's never been a patently dishonest kid before, and hormones aside, I don't expect that to change a lot now.
This eye shadow stuff? That's another matter altogether. Until now, Eve was simply a little girl who'd always made the honor roll, who'd emerged as a leader among her peers, and who always managed to exceed our expectations. Now, that little girl, who is already as tall as her mother, and just as striking, wants to wear eye shadow.
Suppose she puts it on and the world sees what I've always seen - a lovely swan whose beauty shines as bright as her brilliance? Suppose they all find out how special she really is?
Well, I've had some time to think about it, and the truth is, I'm all for it. My little girl's so beautiful no shadow could ever hide her light.
Not even eye shadow.
Solomon Jones, whose column appears Tuesdays, is the author of 10 books. Listen to him mornings from 7 to 10 on WURD (900-AM). More at Solomonjones.com.