It’s the weekend. Next week there’s no school. Things get loose. Teenage plans evolve in real-time as messages zip back and forth between all points on the network. Which house will be the ‘get ready at’ house. Which parents will agree to the ‘sleepover’ house. There’s a football game wedged in the middle for some. The new Hunger Games movie for another. Moms confirm curfew and sleepover plans through a web of texts that wraps around the girls. A set of new contacts is added to my phone, so I can wedge into the arrangements. Without prior initiation by our now college-age kids, I would think I was losing a grip on things. It’s messy. This is the new normal. I’m not a fan, but I’ve finally quit talking about how ‘it used to be when I was your age’, and can get with the program, instead of fighting it.
Saturday proceeds in very much the same way. It feels like 5 puppies came bounding out of the bedrooms in the morning, all running in different directions, to the beat of different drummers. You do what you can to keep tabs on them, make sure they get meals when they’re hungry, write checks and hand out cash when needed (hope their dad’s ready for the tab!), and generally provide the sense that there’s a safe home-base they can return to. I managed to sneak away with O. for a Starbucks and some good conversation late afternoon. By evening the group has dwindled down to only three of us for supper, instead of a possible seven. We treasure the alone time with S. Served her favorite meal and even lit a candle at the table.
I suspect Sunday may follow a similar pattern as there’s no cloud of Monday school and heaviness of homework hanging over the day. The long-range planner in me has learned to stifle questions about anything outside of the immediate next 6-12 hours. Every now and then I relapse. I find myself slipping into a line of questioning and planning beyond that horizon. Unless it’s an organized sports / church event, this does not produce much useful fruit. I don’t know why I bother – I just can’t help myself.
But seriously, were we like this too and have just forgotten?