A few days ago I called my friend, Scott, to wish him a Happy Birthday. Scott is my most tenured friend. We met when I was four or five years old; it was so long ago that it predates my conscious memory. He lived a few houses down the street from me and our friendship began with Big Jim and G.I. Joes. It carried on through Schwinn Spyder five-speeds with banana seats, through paper routes, games of freeze-tag and after school basketball games on the Johnson’s driveway. We went through high school together, got in trouble together in Dr. Kober’s Hermeneutics class in college, and were in each others weddings. While our adult years have come and gone with relatively little contact, we can always connect and immediately pick up where we left off.
So it was with our brief exchange on the phone the other night. When Scott asked how life was, I remarked that I feel as though parenting is requiring more of my time and energy now that my girls are grown and gone and out of the house – more time and energy than was required when they were in high school and living under my roof. Scott laughed.
It’s almost 2:00 a.m. and I’m writing this post from the lobby of my hotel in Denver, Colorado. Knowing that my daughter was planning to drive home from the Twin Cities tonight, and hearing about a big snow storm bearing down on the Midwest, I texted Madison to make sure she’d checked the weather. I told her that I didn’t want her and the car she purchased this week in the ditch of I-35 in the wee hours of the morning.
The phone woke me and Wendy up at 1:25 a.m. The ditch from which she was calling me was just south of Albert Lea, MN.
And so, I sit here in the lobby praying and waiting for her call to tell me the Minnesota State Patrol has arrived, that the tow truck is not going to cost more than the low limit on her credit card, and that she is safely back on the road. That accomplished, I will sit here in the lobby and pray some more until I get the call that her car is running and she has found the nearest safe, warm place to ride the storm out.
So, I am finding that parenting never ends, though the responsibilities and demands ebb and flow through the changing stages of our children’s lives. With his knowing laugh, I’m guessing Scott has found the same to be true.