Thursday, April 3, 2008

Perched on the Precipice

SweetieDarling didn't come home last night. Didn't call, wouldn't answer her phone. The last thing she said when she left is that she was going to her friends' and would call me.

During those long, lonely hours between curfew and return, a lot of things go through a mothers' mind. The foremost of those things being that I really hoped she'd live through the night so I could kill her. The most trivial thing that I thought of, but that actually upset me the most was that I couldn't say what she was wearing. If I had to give the police a description of my daughter, I wouldn't be able to tell them what clothes she had on only a few longest of my life short hours ago. How can I look at my child, hug her goodbye, watch her leave, and not know what she was wearing? Why does this upset me so much?

She has never done this before, but upon reflection whilst delirious with lack of sleep and worry, I can see where she's been ever so slightly pushing the boundaries of her rules. She's always home on time, but doesn't want to have to be. If I know where she is, I'll extend curfew. All it takes is a simple telephonic request. She has a cell phone for a reason. But she wants to stay out if the situation calls for it and not have to check in. It's not that I don't trust her, I just want to know that she's ok. I truly don't think this is too much to ask.

I've never had to deal with this before. The oldest two had to be forced out of the house by threat. I remember being invincible and immortal, and sometimes am truly surprised that I survived my teens and early twenties. It is by pure dumb luck. What if she isn't that lucky?

She's perched on the precipice of adulthood. Ready and eager to take that leap. How do I help her without pushing her off too soon, or holding her back too long?

I just want her to land softly.


Kate said...

Ohhhh.... Is she home yet? I'll be thinking about you. That's a tough one. I was never naughty as a teenager and I don't have kids. I worked with them for 10 years, though. And you're absolutely right about pushing the boundaries. But you know where it gets sticky - you've been there before. Kids WANT boundaries, even as teenagers and young adults, so they know that you still care about them.

Scary, my friend. Hang in there.

Twisting Ivy said...

Oh my... it's some time before I have to face the teenage years, but I think any mother can fully empathize and understand the fear and feeling of helplessness that something has happened to their child.

And fearing they will be safe, happy, and healthy as they grow... well, that's the source of grey hair, I swear.

Rima said...

Those are very apt metaphors - the precipice and the landing softly.

My mother told me about a book she once read (can't remember the name) written by a man who was raised in the most appalling of circumstances, with hardly any parental supervision or TLC to speak of. In the book, he writes of many, many situations when something tragic could have easily happened to him or his siblings, but didn't. It makes me think that, on the whole, we humans are hard-wired pretty well for survival, often in spite of the dumb situations we put ourselves in.

I'm glad she made it home, and I hope she lands softly!

The Hotfessional said...

Oh, sweetie. What a scary, scary situation for you. Shortman is like your two oldest. He never leaves. EVER. It makes me nuts. I, too, hope she lands softly.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Oh man. I am so not looking forward to this. I'm already worried about the years they learn how to drive. I just can't deal.