Anna went with her friend Sam to an invite-only advanced screening of the new Hannah Montana movie last night. (Never mind that she has no clue who Hannah Montana is – or didn’t until yesterday.)
It was in Ottawa so Sam’s dad picked the girls up from school and they had dinner before the show as well. It was the thrill of going on an adventure, the concert-like feel, and the late night as much as the movie itself which caused all the excitement, and I can see it’s going to take her a while to come down to earth again.
I waited up for her, of course. Which meant going to bed at 11:30, not something I do very often on a week night (book clubs nights excepted). And the wait showed me one thing very clearly!
I am dreading the kids being teenagers.
You see, last night, I knew who Anna was with. I knew where they were. I knew what they were doing. I knew perfectly well they were safe.
And still I was unable to rest.
Sam’s mother called me twice – to let me know they had arrived in Ottawa and to let me know they were leaving. And still I fretted.
I couldn’t go to bed and just set the alarm because I would just have lain there worrying anyway. I did get some writing done, but it was a half hearted attempt as I was interrupted by all the what ifs, all the bogeymen of possibility, that crept into my head unbidden.
To be fair, I knew this would happen. There is always an element of fear whenever the children are going somewhere without me. And to my credit, knowing I would start worrying the day before she went and that the gnawing pit would not ease until she was safely home, I still let her go without outward hesitation.
Because I know I can’t protect them forever. I know they have to experience other things. I know I have to let go, a little bit at a time.
But it doesn’t come naturally.