Friday, November 27, 2009

The Curfew Conflict!

Apparently, we’ve succeeded in making home not too comfortable based on the blow up we had about curfew.  Our oldest daughter has been used to the time deemed appropriate by us for the 4 years she’s been away.  She accepts it and doesn’t give it much thought. In fact, she’s usually home before curfew. For our youngest, however, it’s a rule she is not happy to buy into, since she is, after all,  “18 and no longer living at home.”

Her arguments do have some degree of logic as she tells us that she comes and goes whenever she pleases at college.  I know freshman in particular stay out late and sleep in on days they don’t have early morning classes. It is liberating for sure to be able to make these decisions on your own.  I remember that and understand that.  Not that I like the idea though.
Reasoning with her is simply selfish.  I want to sleep and now that I’m used to sleep again, I want to keep it that way. 

All through high school, I slept with one eye open on the nights my kids went out.  They were both so terrific about getting home on time, but I still worried.  Worried about the car breaking down. Worried about an accident. Worried about drunk drivers on the road. Worried, worried, worried. 

I came to love the squeak of the door as they entered the house.  I’d roll over and say a silent prayer of thanks.  And then I’d drift off to sleep.  So when 15 minutes passed curfew rolled around the other night, I began to fret.  My imagination knows no bounds and I couldn’t temper it enough to settle me. Not willing to give up more than 20 minutes of precious sleep, I reluctantly called her blessed cell phone. The frenzied dialogue went something like this.
Mom, “Where are you?” 
Daughter, “Coming”. 
Mom, “Why are you answering the phone while you’re driving?”
Daughter, “Because you called.”
Mom, “Don’t answer the phone while you’re driving."
Daughter, “But you called.”
Mom, “Hang up.”
Daughter, “Okay.”
Door squeaks 30 minutes passed curfew and daughter implores that she didn’t know that the rules still apply.  Wow, imagine a home without rules, but I roll over return to a fitful sleep dreading the impending argument in the morning.  I know my daughter well and we will not get through this without a dose of attitude.

And it was an argument reminiscent of those in high school; daughter aggressively defending her point of view and parents desperately trying to understand the illogic of her reasoning.  The conversation broke down early on and morphed into something about the lack of trust.  Truthfully, trust was the last thing on my mind as sleep deprivation was beginning to make me sound as irrational as her.  We did not progress as I had hoped and we all pouted and sulked our way around the house, disappointed in the tension.

In the end, it took about 24 hours to pull us all out of the abyss.  But pull out of it we did.  No longer willing to let any more time pass, we agreed to a fair compromise, a thirty minutes extension if needed.  I can live with that. 

So first visit back was not without drama.  But then again how boring would life be with perfection!

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