It’s Friday night, midnight. The kids went to a friend’s for an XBOX party (just like they had here last weekend). I know the other kids a bit better now, so I’m a lot more comfortable with my kids being out so late than I would have been even a week ago. Still, it’s raining, and it’ll be the danger hours (drunks on the road) when they head home.
But I know they are not kids anymore – at 18 and 16 I know I have to let them go do their own things – but that doesn’t mean I can’t worry about them.
I remember the first time I realized I would have to let one of my kids do something dangerous – it was a couple years ago – Derek was maybe 16, when one of my ex-employees called at 10:00PM to ask if Derek wanted to go on an airplane ride. In a two-seater, with my not even 21 year old employee as the pilot. At night. So my employee could “get practice at night landings”. I *really* didn’t want to say yes, but I knew not many 16 year olds would have a chance like that – and that Derek’s chances of getting another offer were slim.
So I let him go. But I worried about him the whole time.
And that’s what parents all end up doing at some point – letting kids go, letting them grow. And worrying about them.