When my daughter was just a baby still, I would gaze sleepily down at her drinking her bottle at 2:00 am, dreaming of the day when she wouldn’t keep me awake at night.
Fast forward 19 years.
Guess what? No matter how old your child is, if they are living under your roof, they will be keeping you up at night.
My kid got her drivers license last November and also bought herself a nice little used car. (She named it Jamie.) She worked hard to save up the money at a gourmet burger place. She continues to work hard to pay for her insurance and gas.
So, she is now mobile. No more asking me or her step-dad for rides.
On non-work nights, she goes out. We just renegotiated her curfew.
“12:30,” I said in my this is final voice. (The world is a fucking scary place.)
“My friends don’t have a curfew,” she responded, like that nugget of information would actually make a difference.
“I don’t give a shit about your friends,” I answered, looking up to the heavens for God to give me the strength to endure.
“Okay. It’s better than midnight.”
Damn right it is, kid. Quit your bellyaching.
To her credit, she checks in with me on a regular basis, via text message, a luxury parents of past generations didn’t have.
“I’m at Walmart.”
The text messages are nice to get. Until I head off to bed, that is. I rarely stay up late nowadays because I am old.
At 10:30 at night, I’ll be laying down and receive a message like this:
“We’re at the playground.”
Oh, lovely. Where’s my anxiety medicine?
A dark playground is no place for anyone, but what can I do? Not a whole hell of a lot, she’ll be 20 before I know it.
It’s not like there’s a keg of beer waiting for them behind the slide. If that were the case, I’d have something to work with.
“Be safe. Stay together. Don’t forget to kick in the groin and run.”
I leave the bathroom light on, so if a miracle happens and I do fall asleep, when I wake up to go pee at 3:00 am, I will see that the light is off and know that she is at home, safe and sound.
You never stop worrying about your kid(s), it just changes form.