Jake's voice woke me out of slumber and I rolled out of bed. I shouldn't be sleeping in the middle of the afternoon, but I wasn't feeling that well. Stumbling towards the front door, I could see Jake through the window making faces at me.
"So Mom, D and I want to walk into town.."
"It's pouring rain." Oh come on, really? Into town? We've never let you do this before. Town is...far.
"We're really bored," Jake continued, "and I thought we could go get some stuff at Home Hardware."
I yawned. "You have no money." Besides I don't think you should go anyway. The highway is dangerous. You'll get run over. Then there's the drug dealers down in the park. I'm not sure I like the idea of you going down there.
"Oh come ON, we'll be back by dinner time. Promise."
"If you are NOT", I declared, "You will not go out after supper for the rest of the summer. Got it? That leaves you only an hour and a half. It's better you don't go." Yawning, and still half asleep, I closed the door and crawled back into the warm cocoon of my bed. There. He'll likely just go back to D's house and hang out.
My befuddled, half asleep brain didn't count on the fact that I actually didn't say "no". An hour later I woke with a start, and when I remembered bits and pieces of the conversation, I thought I'd better find out if he went after all, so I phoned D's house.
Yep, they had gone.
My brain then exploded.
Oh, crap. How could I have been so dumb? Should I let him go? What if he runs into the drug dealers by the school, or the kids that hate his Dad and might want to beat him up, or that crazy guy that was living in a tent and invited him to come visit him? What if he doesn't pay attention crossing the road and gets hit by a car or gets stranded down there, and why didn't I make him take my CELL PHONE at least? I'm the worst Mom in the world. Maybe I should just get into my car and go FIND the boy and give him a ride home.
Wait a sec. He's going into grade NINE.
In grade 9 I was babysitting, hanging out with friends, going to movies, and going to town by myself so Mom, get a freaking grip. Trust him. He won't get into trouble, he'll know what to do if something happens.
Let GO a bit, already.
To my utter shock, Jake arrived home early, breathless and eyes shining.
"It was so cool, Mom. We went out to this coffee shop, and D wanted to get a coffee. I got a soy decaf chai latte instead. He offered to buy me a real coffee, but I told him that I'm not allowed. It was so much fun though, we're planning to go again next week."
The commentary in my head finally stopped.
Coffee? There were so many other things he could have gotten into, and without me around he wouldn't even sneak some real coffee?
Looks like I didn't have much to worry about after all.