In the morning a child in her 20’s calls sobbing.

She is going to an appointment.

She has used mass transit and has walked a couple of miles.

She is in the suburbs looking for an address.

There is no taxi service

I comfort her as best as I can wanting to put my arms around her.

She calls again still upset.  I ask, “How much further?”

.6 miles.  I say you have come so far and you are close.

She says between sniffles, I guess I will try.

“I am crossing a busy highway.”  The phone hangs up.

I try to reassure myself that she is going to be okay.

Another call.

She gives me a litany of things that have gone wrong since we last talked,

nothing life threatening.

She is having a no good very bad day and she is spent.

The odds were against her, but she gave it her best.

Regardless of the age, parenting is not easy, but it is my joy.


About showgem

I am a wife, a mother, a fifth grade writing teacher, a sister, a daughter, a sibling, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a co-worker, a yoga practitioner, a learner, a reader and a writer.
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7 Responses to Torn

  1. Laura LA says:

    I used to caution my sisters against always being there for their children, but then I remembered that my Mom was always there for me. Not “babying”, but sharing strength, commiserating, quietly teaching. Though my girls are still young, I have seen through my sisters that balance you suggest of taking care of things for our children, and taking care of them. We will always take care of them, even if that is just listening on the phone as they make a difficult journey.
    Hope everything worked out.

  2. When they pass their stressors onto their parents, somehow, I must lighten their loads.

  3. The saying “parenting is hard work” really is an understatement. I felt your pain when you couldn’t give her a hug in the middle of your piece. Even though my daughter is so young, I’ve already been there a few times (e.g., she’s been upset or sick and I’ve been away for the day). We do the best we can, right. And, yes, it is a joy to be a parent — good times and bad.

  4. Donna Smith says:

    Nope, parenting is never over. We’d like to protect them from all the hard times. I’ll bet you were a comfort to her, even from a distance…’cuz that’s what moms are good at!

  5. Dana says:

    “She is having a no good very bad day “…… I loved this line even if I didn’t love that it meant she was having that kind of day. Thank goodness for parents who answer the phone and listen to us in our worst moments. We so appreciate you.

  6. Yes, yes, yes – parenting in adulthood is so so so much more difficult than quieting a tantrumming toddler in a grocery store. Some days I would give anything to be back there – but then, I really don’t want to come this way again!

  7. luckygurl says:

    I wonder if your title also speaks to the gap between the amount of support and protection we would like to give our children, and the amount we actually can… Lovely piece.

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