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The tables have turned

In my daughters’ growing up years, while their dad played the laid-back weekend parent, I was the every-day army sergeant.

“Is your homework done? Have you taken a shower lately? Is your room fumigated?”

High school days were the most challenging. We had dating. We had driving and first cars. And, of course, I had to monitor their lives closely.

“Be sure that boy you’re dating is not a crazy. You are not wearing that! Do you know a storm is coming? Why are you driving to the city in this weather?”

(One activity I agreed with and supported was their joint kick boxing class at the local gym.)

In all those days, I was the obsessed parent. I would fret and worry and give advice. Heeded or not, I never gave up trying. Then they moved away, and I no longer had a say. (Not that I don’t still interject my opinions regularly.)

***

In the last five years my girls have been in Brooklyn, New York, where I have schlepped my plus-60 body over there three times a year. Same route, same routine. Catch Delta, four pm-ish to arrive when they leave their workplaces, grab a cab at LaGuardia. Next, I make the phone call to one daughter or another to guide the cab driver to their “can’t get there from here” Brooklyn neighborhood.

From airport to airport and into the boroughs, I would receive four phone calls.

“Mom, how was the flight? Where are you? Are you here yet? Where’s your luggage?”

On my tri-annual visits, I have taken to shuffling out early in the morning, sneaking out of one daughter’s coop or the other and hustling three blocks to a favorite coffee shop before they can catch me. I feel so grownup when I make it to my destination and back without a nervous call from one of them.

“Where are you!”

If I should miss a bus stop, one of them is at the bus door when I finally arrive, nose pressed to the glass, staring at me.

“Where have you been!”

Granted, my knees don’t handle the subway stairs well due to a bit of arthritis, and I am not great in crowds, but I’m not dead yet, ladies.

“You need a motorized scooter, Mom,” they say.

“Go ahead,” I tell them, “Buy me one.”

For so many years, I was the protector, the advisor, the commander, the nurturer. Now I’m the idiot child. But who can argue with all that fervent concern?

I just have a message for you, girls. Wait ‘til I get to the nursing home! (He he.)

— Kaye Curren

Kaye Curren has returned to writing after 30 years of raising two husbands, two children, two teenage stepchildren, three horses, umpteen dogs and cats, and several non-speaking parakeets. She used to write computer manuals but now writes humor essays, human interest stories and memoir. Her guest posts have been recently featured on LiteraryMama.com, humorwriters.org, DivorcedMoms.com, SheKnows.com and SheWrites.com. Also find her musings on her website/blog at writethatthang.com.

Reflections of Erma