If there’s an effective panacea for parenting, I’ve yet to discover it – even after 18 years on the job. The mother job that is. And I’ve been hitting the Excedrin Migraine pretty hard these past hours. Good thing there’s plenty in the medicine cabinet, along with half a bottle of Pepto Bismol.
Yes, it’s one of those days. Just the usual stuff of parental worry, as Teen Number One is flying over the ocean following two months of summer internship – as a factory worker in Europe, and then in an office.
In order to utilize frequent flyer miles, his travel route is convoluted; he’ll be sitting in a US airport on layover for almost as long as it takes to cross the ocean. How to turn a long trip into a horribly long trip – but save more than a few bucks!
At 18, my elder son is resourceful and responsible. (This is why I didn’t worry when he was semi-out-of-touch, wandering France, Belgium, and the Netherlands these past two weeks.) Still, I’ll be on edge until he texts me when he lands, and again, until he arrives home quite late tonight.
Teen Traveler Number Two
As for Teen Number Two, he couldn’t be more different than his brother. At 17, he’s also away, in an academic program. However, it appears that the silence of the past 10 days have something to do with a pertinent fact. He lost his cell phone, which I found out yesterday afternoon, indirectly.
Did I say I was popping Excedrin Migraine?
Right. I’m trying to reach him through alternate means in order to make sure he has cash for the next two weeks, not to mention can print his airline ticket, has money to pay the baggage charges, money to ship home art and architectural models, and money in case of contingency. (Contingencies like losing a cell phone?)
- Absent-minded artist? Yes, he fits the bill.
- A struggle to teach him common sense? Yes, that, too.
- Do some kids learn the hard way? Yup.
- Concerned? Naturally.
I know my son. If losing a cell phone is the only thing that goes wrong with his summer, I’ll call it a win. Until then, I’ll wish I’d had the foresight to understand the real nature of parenting. I would’ve invested in Novartis, McNeil Labs, Bayer, and Procter & Gamble.
Meanwhile, please pass the Excedrin. It’s going to be a long day, and night.