I’m a lone parent (although I like to think of myself more like The Lone Ranger – it’s cooler,) and as much as I like to think I cope well, it’s a pretty tough job. Case in point.
My eldest son is 19 and studying away from home at Uni. As incredibly proud of him as I am, I am a nervous wreck half the time. He regales me with stories of what he gets up to on a night out and I find myself in the unusual position of being half jealous … and half worried sick. But that’s the thing about giving your kids wings to fly … they do what you want them to do and you end up unable to sleep!
Except of course, when your son telephones you at midnight – the one time he needs you and you’re fast asleep.
There’s nothing worse than waking up to missed calls on your phone from a child that is away from you. I saw 3 missed calls from his yesterday when I woke up. That panic is awful. Is he hurt? In trouble? Scared? Upset? All of the above?
Thankfully, he is smart enough to know exactly how I’m going to react … and followed it up with a “Don’t panic Mum, everything’s alright” text. I wouldn’t say the fact his flatmate got run over by a taxi and was in hospital “everything’s alright” … but it could have been a whole lot worse.
Of course, I rang straight away. He didn’t answer. I text him. No reply. I called again a couple of hours later. No response. I finally got a call from him at 2pm. He’d just woken up. And everything was alright. Thankfully. Although I could quite easily have throttled him for worrying me so much.
You see, that’s the thing about being a parent – lone or otherwise – you never stop worrying. You just have to hope that you’ve given your child the confidence to handle any situation they find themselves in and for them to know that (even if you’re fast asleep) you’ll always be there for them.