A restless sleep causes me to hear the murmurings of doubts.
Had I been a good enough mother? Was I relevant now as I aged out of parenting? Did I make a difference and do I have a reason for being?
Bad nights like this allow my devil self to bicker with my angel self. We empty nesters have time to ponder our younger lives now that our children are grown and off to their own worlds.
I pop out of bed when the alarm rings, begin the water for my tea, dress quickly, plug in my phone, and hear a “Ding.”
My 38-year-old daughter’s ding.
On my cell, daughter’s text announcements sound like musical up and down notes, much like her. My son’s texts ring out in a trumpet call: “Dum de de DUM de DUM.”
But this text is musical at 6:22 in the morning. I open up the message to find a funny photo of two women in a car. The driver is crouched behind the steering wheel with wild eyes. The passenger holds her hands up as if in self-defense. The saying underneath the cartoon: “You know you have a best friend when she’s willing to let you drive.”
I laugh out loud. My daughter thinks I’m a reckless, out-of-control driver. In reality, I’m fabulous behind the wheel.
…. I just get lost easily, my eyes blur in front of highway lights in the evening, and I skip lanes when I shouldn’t at times.
…. But my daughter drives too fast, listens to rock too loudly, and gets distracted by her kids in the backseat.
I text back: “I’m the passenger here, right?”
I sip my hot green tea, happy with the sense that I’m still relevant.