I’m home. It’s late and it’s quiet.
The big dog is sleeping near the foot of the bed. The little one is snug in her kennel next to my side of the bed. Both of them most content in a room with their people.
The rest of my people are sound asleep. The occasional elbow striking the wall reminds me they are here even when I can’t hear them.
I know they are safe in this house with me. Warm in their beds and within seconds of my reach should they need me.
It’s the advantage of a small home.
But not all of my people sleep. D1 isn’t home. Well, she might be asleep. Curled up in her seat on the bus on the way back from a volleyball game 3 hours away. I don’t know.
I don’t know if she sleeps or chats with friends.
I don’t know the score but I do know they lost. She seems ok with that.
I don’t know if she aced any serves or got any great hits.
I don’t know where she is right now. What mile marker they’ve most recently passed.
I don’t know who’s driving the bus or how safe he is. I don’t like not being in charge of her safety.
I do know she is well fed. She told me when she texted they’d left town. I made sure she had plenty of nut safe goodies to choose from in her sports bag. As we know, I AM that mom.
She texted she needs ankle supports. She’s an outside hitter and spends much of the game jumping. I texted back and asked if she’s ok.
Immediately my mom mind assumes the supports are because she hurt herself. She’s fine.
I meant to buy them today but didn’t make it to the store. I’ve been putting them off because they’re a bit spendy and priced per ankle but I’ll add it to my list for tomorrow. As if ankle supports will keep her safe when she’s out of town without me.
Mom’s denial. Mom’s justification. Mom’s neurosis.
She’ll need money for the coffee cart at school in the morning. She won’t be home until after 1:00am. She has class at 7:50.
These are the things that go through my mind as I wait for her text to tell me she’ll be back at school waiting for a ride within 20 minutes.
I miss her here this time of night but know this will be the first of many nights that I’ll wait for her to safely come back to me.
I doubt I’ll sleep.
I began my daughters’ lives with very little sleep.
I have a feeling their teenage years will involve very little sleep.
When they leave for college I’ll text them in the middle of the night to see that they’re safe.
I’m the mom. It’s my job.
As they grow into the amazing women I know they will be, there will be so much time spent away from me. They’ll leave the safety of our home to find themselves. To become who they need to be, where they need to be.
But it’s ok. I’ll keep track of them as well as I can and be there as quickly as possible if they need me.
They will find their own paths but will always know that there will also be one that leads them home.
I’ll be waiting.