I have been blessed with being able to maintain an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality. It’s not all that easy for a mother, but I have learned that if I want to sleep at night, I can’t be worrying about my kids in college.
And I don’t. Until they call.
Molly has mastered the Let’s-Make-Mom-Worry phone call.
“I have NO money left. I can’t even buy food.”
“I think I have high cholesterol.”
“I literally have never been so stressed in my whole life.”
I won’t deny it; those conversations give me momentary pause. But I can usually get over them pretty quickly, having learned from experience that I spend way more time fretting over Molly’s emergencies than she does. By the time I have a solution, she has a new problem.
Max is not quite as dramatic.
“Mom, I think I might be getting a little sick.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“A 104 fever and I haven’t been able to eat in three days because my throat won’t close.”
“Uh, have you thought about going to the health center?”
But, kids get sick and kids get better and there’s really nothing I can do from this end other than provide love and sympathy and advice that may or may not be taken.
“You might want to stay in this weekend, at least until your fever breaks,” I suggest.
“I can’t, Mom. It’s the UCLA game.”
And then there’s the other kind of phone call.
“Mom! EVERYONE is going to Jamaica for spring break! Can I go?” Molly asked.
Not that she needed permission. She needed money.
She asked the right parent. I wrote the check, but being a somewhat responsible mother, made her pay for half.
I didn’t give the trip much thought until the other day. After all, she was going with her four roommates, all of whom are as smart as they are pretty. I feel like I know and trust them all fairly well, though I fully understand that I have a limited parent’s perspective. My belief is that Lauren and Julie are sensible. They both have boyfriends whom they adore. So, while I don’t doubt that they’ll be sipping umbrella drinks and shooting tequila shots, I suspect their most regrettable behavior will involve long distance charges for phone calls to their beloveds. Jenny, well Jenny’s a wild card in that she’s been working way too hard for way too long. She’s recently been accepted into medical school, so this vacation could go either way for her. She could be dancing on the bar or taking to bed somberly, and somewhat soberly, with an anatomy book. And then, there’s Molly and Julianne who have been on a mission to make memories their entire college careers.
“So, what’s the name of this place again?” I asked Molly the other day.
“I don’t know. Taboo or something like that. It’s all college students.”
“You mean, the WHOLE resort is filled with JUST college kids?”
“I think so.”
“Sounds great,” I say and truly believe it would be, for a 22 year-old.
I suspect that conversation, and my subsequent Googling, is what made me dream about the Wet T-Shirt contest.
It was one of those disjointed dreams but the story line was clear. My darling daughter and her lovely roommate, Julianne, appeared to me in a vision. They were standing on a stage with huge smiles and an even huger trophy between them. The crowd was roaring and chanting “Go! Go! Go!” as the evenly-tanned emcee fed them multiple Jello shots as a reward for winning the Wet-T-Shirt contest.
But still, I wasn’t worried. Rather, the dream gave me a giggle in my gut.
Molly will go and have a ton of fun. She’ll belly up to the bar in her bikini and cool off in the polluted pool. She’ll meet lots and lots of guys from colleges near and far and won’t remember a single one of them a month from now. She’ll eat too much fried food and complain about her bloated stomach. She’ll sleep four or five in a room and be lucky to get four or five hours of sleep. She’ll forget she’s not in Chapel Hill and her sunburned shoulders will sting, at least until the sun goes down and the night heats up.
But still, I don’t worry. Because there’s not a thing I can do about it.
And so, I just keep my fingers crossed that she’ll think before she shoots, that she’ll remember her sunscreen, and that her sensible side will prevail. And if, in her eternal quest to have the time of her life, she chooses to enter the Wet T-Shirt Contest, I guess I’ll just have to hope she wins.