It's high drama around here as my daughter, Carson, is applying to colleges, and she veers from hysterics about her academic future to despair over her inability to find the perfect slouchy, pointy-toed black-leather boot (from what I can tell, there are about a million options at the boutiques in lower Manhattan, where we live). Mo, my 15-year-old son, tolerates the hoopla relatively well. I think he's just grateful that everyone is too preoccupied with her to ask if he has finished doing his homework.
December is always crazy, and every day builds toward the crescendo of the holidays. So my little rituals, like baking on Sunday for the week, provide a kind of stress-free reprieve for me, and at the same time let me stock up on fuel for the family, like blueberry–sour cream muffins.