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The incoming tide

The teen didn't come home last night. I slept through his missing - snoozed, snored, dreamed, tossed and turned in a glorious sleep until H came into the bedroom this morning with a cup of coffee and told me the teen was missing. I immediately got out of bed. Checked his room. H was right. The bed was unslept in. I went downstairs. Checked my middle son's room thinking that while he, middle son was in America that the teen might have decided on the memory foam mattress as a luxurious option to his creaky, single bed. No. No sign of the teen. I picked up my phone and called him. I heard his voice, hi Mom, he said. Where the hell are you, I asked in a voice that tried to sound irritated but failed as the relief kicked in. I'm at L's, he said, he made nachos and it got too late to come home and I texted K, (older brother) to tell you and I'm okay and goodnight. Goodnight? I said, it's nine a.m.  for god's sake. Oh yeah, he said  in a sleep-laden voice, sorry, he added and hung up.

Teen summers are great fun. You never see the teen for a start except at meal time and then depending on what's on the menu. Texts are numerous but scant;

What's for dinner?

Going swimming.

At gym.


Can you make extra chicken breasts? 

Are we having steak? 

Summer is great.

Big exams next year, better make the most of it!

And then there is the friend who just passed her driving test and drives Mom's jeep like a pro and pulls up outside the house to pick up the teen. His test is in two weeks time. He has the nerves he told me. He asked me to stop complaining about having to drive him places. He said he will be a failure if he doesn't pass. I tell him he's a good driver. He'll pass flying colours, he ought to, the  lessons cost a small fortune but I don't say that and he shakes his head, glances at himself in the mirror, smooths his hair and takes off to join the rally driver waiting outside on the road. I want to shout after him, ask him if he has a key. If he remembered to floss. If he ever remembers the past summers. The walks off into the bog. The days at the beach as I watched him catch crabs and wet his toes without me for the first time in the incoming tide. How I put a hand to my brow to ease the startling light and how I never realised that I was trying to hold something back, something impossibly precious that was leaving me as quickly as it had come.

16 Comment count
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Ah... A mother's anxieties...

Ah... A mother's anxieties... Brilliantly put, Mary.

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Yes, K, they never end......

Yes, K, they never end...... unfortunately. Thanks for reading. mx

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Can relate to this perfectly

Can relate to this perfectly well, Mary! We're on school holidays now and boys are going here and there, one is learning to drive and going in cars with boys that have just got licences. And food, which we never seem to have enough of! Some days I say what's for dinner at least half a dozen times!

Thanks again, Mary. M

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Great to know you are in the

Great to know you are in the same boat, Moni. I suppose we should celebrate but .....................it can be a challenge. Just fill up the fridge and keep your fingers crossed! Happy holidays. mx

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My stomach turned...

Even tho I knew the story was going to end ok or you wouldn't have been writing.  But teens are scary.  I can identify.  Just got home from Katherine awhile back.  My grandkids aren't here--two cars are but one isn't.  Does that mean they will be staying at Trent and Brianna's house tonite instead of here??  Should I text and ask? Did they leave to not make too much noise after Gerald went to bed??  Did they go to town to get something to eat? Should I leave the front door open??   But I do know they are safe since Lige and Trent have now turned 20--and all four are very dependable kids. For that I am grateful.  

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Yes indeed, Sue. All those

Yes indeed, Sue. All those questions! I do the same thing myself.....I bet your grandkids are GRAND! mx

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Mary,   It doesn't matter how


  It doesn't matter how old they are, either.  The worry is always there. ~nan

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The worry is always there.

Always, Nan. Always. mx

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All is well...

They all came in shortly after I wrote the above.  I will lock the door when I go to bed in a few minutes.

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The Tide Flying By

I admire how you combine the actual - your maternal concerns at events not going as planned or as preferred - with the keen obervation prevalent in your writing that such important experiences are ephemeral.

If I may say as a parent of 2 boys now well into their 20s, that I can recall the frissons of concern that went through the minds of my wife and myself when one or both boys had an unplanned stay at a friend's house when younger but eventually had a safe and happy ending. But as a parent, I think there is the old adage that applies: once a mother/father, always a mother/father.  

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Ephemeral. I could say that word all day long. It is so beautiful. Thanks, Nicholas for your wise words. mx

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"Letting go" is so apt here.

"Letting go" is so apt here.  

Having children is not for the feint of heart, because when we're truly present and caring as they grow, we unintentionally make ourselves more vulernable to their departure.  

It's like a conundrum for which there was no other possible solution.

The best to you, Mary.  

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So true, Amy. There is no

So true, Amy. There is no solution. You don't think about the letting go when you carry them around on your hip, feed them, tuck them up into bed, read fairy tales to them and then, all of a sudden they become adults and leave you and you are left wondering what the hell happened! Thanks for your astute comment - it is packed with heart and love. mx

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Mary, Are you ease dropping


Are you ease dropping on my house?

Oldest was in Cincinnati last week while we were enjoying our vacation. Middle son just got his own set of wheels and was out and about everywhere burning gas when he was not at work. 

Daughter started Driver's Ed yesterday and is hounding me about driving my car. 

No one appears until they smell food... 

Yup, teens are the same the world over!


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I'm laughing, Annette at the

I'm laughing, Annette at the idea that this is an international issue! One thing though; no Driver's Ed in this country. All lessons private with private insurance and at great cost! Therefore driving is a privilege here and so with so much investment involved passing the test is crucial! mx