Call me when you get there
A mother’s concern for the safety of her children
By Theresa Blume
“Let me know when you get home.” These are the words my daughter said to me as she got out of the car, and I took the wheel. She had jogged over to our place across town earlier, but now it was dark and rainy. She drove the way to her place because my eyesight at night is bad, and with rain it is worse, and now I had to drive home myself.
Carefully driving home, I thought about the times I had said, “Call me when you get there.” My three children had traveled near and far, went off to college, or even just went out for the night, but I always had to know they were safe.
It never failed that as soon as one of them would leave the house, day or night, I would hear the lonesome siren of a too-close-for-comfort ambulance. I would try to stay calm and wait for that promised phone call, leaning on God to keep my babies safe.
I have been called overprotective more than a few times. I have even written prayers for each child when I felt that they needed more than my worry on a frivolous Friday night. I knew it was not really up to me to decide my child’s fate, but is a loving mother ever able to let go of that invisible umbilical cord?
I thought it would be easier when they became adults, but when my oldest packs my four grandchildren and his lovely wife into his vehicle to go back up north, it seems there is always a snowstorm coming. I remind him, “Be careful, watch for black ice, and go slow,” but my son, who spends all winter ice fishing, which includes driving on the ice, teasingly laughs at me.
My younger son has found a new way to prick his mother’s heart. He has taken to riding his bike, pulling my little granddaughter behind him in some type of invention made to bring small children and pets with you. It reminds me of a rickshaw. My granddaughter loves it, but as I watch them drive away, I call out, “Don’t go on main roads, watch out for cars, and don’t make the turns too fast.” My son and granddaughter just wave and smile at me.
My daughter, being the youngest, was the hardest to watch drive on snowy roads at night to go to work 25 miles away. I tried to convince her to call in sick, but she would roll her eyes and remind me that she has a four-wheel drive blazer and has driven in every sort of weather.
I do not know if my kids will ever worry about me as much as I worried about them, but it was a bittersweet moment when I texted her with the words, “I’m home,” and she immediately responded, “Thanks. LOL.”