But last night, I can most definitely say without a a doubt that I did NOT feel like I was the child in the parent-child relationship.
Remember when you were younger and your parents would make you call them if you were going to be late getting home, or be waiting up for you after going out with your friends or told you to wake them up to let you know you were home…
My parents weren’t so much the kind that waited up ’til odd hours of the night awaiting our arrival. Probably because they knew we would be home right when we said we would … Though that line is bologna, they did trust us.
You could usually find them passed out in their king side bed and it was our job to let them know that we were home. They used to leave the door cracked open just a smidge. I’d tiptoe to the side of the bed, whisper ‘Mom’ as silently loud as I could, only to have my mother wake up in a fit of terror, ‘WHAT?! WHAT’S WRONG?!’ ‘Nothing is wrong, I just wanted to let you know I was home.’ ‘Oh, OK.’
My mom still tends to have those fit of terror moments when we call and maybe don’t sound 100 percent happy … “WHAT’S WRONG,” she answers. No hello, how are you?
“Nothing mom. It’s just been a long day at work.”
“Oh, OK. It just sounded like something was wrong.”
My dad is almost always standing behind her, usually mocking her, which is always followed by a punch to the forearm by my mother.
Yes, this seems like a pointless story until now.
Last night, Matt and I drove to Yates Center, Kan., to watch the Sedan boys basketball team play in a tournament. His brother is the head coach and I’m all about supporting my family and my alma mater. On our drove over, my dad called and asked me to call him after the game to let him know how it went.
Sure, dad. I can do that. No problem!
The game ends around 9:30 and boy, was it a doozy! Overtime win for the boys, very exciting. My brother-in-law actually jumped for joy (with a spin in there somewhere) after the completion of the game – very fun (and a bit nerve-wracking) to watch!
So, following my dad’s strict instructions, I called him on my way home from the game. I was by myself as Matt had went back to Sedan with his family to go deer hunting (oh boy) this morning. Sidenote: he has been awaiting this weekend for months now. It’s been nothing but camo, deer and gun talk at my house since October!
Anyway, I call my parents around 9:53 and no answer. I call back at 9:57, no answer. Again at 10:03, no answer. I call my brother. I say, “Brother, can you try calling the house? Either mom and dad or gone, or they are ignoring my phone call.”
Brother calls the house. Brother calls me back to say no response, but to text him when I hear from them because I have officially worried him. I then call 10 more times (no lies). No answer.
At this point, I’m beyond worried. What do I do? Who do I call? They are out past 10 p.m. on a school night. Are they at the nursing home? Is my grandma OK? Is someone playing a sick joke on me?
After try #21, I call my brother-in-law who is driving the basketball team back to Sedan. I leave him a message to ask him to go by my parents house to make sure everything was OK when he got into town.
I proceed to call 10 more times until try 31 when my dad picks up the phone.
Allyson: “ARE YOU OK?????”
Dad: “Yeah, we’re fine! We can’t hear the phone upstairs.”
Allyson: “YOU CAN’T HEAR THE PHONE!!! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I’VE BEEN CALLING FOR AN HOUR!!!!”
Dad: “Yeah, the phone doesn’t work upstairs.”
Allyson: “YOU ARE LYING TO ME! PUT MOM ON THE PHONE!”
Dad: “No, she’s asleep – she hasn’t been feeling well.”
Allyson: “AGAIN, YOU ARE LYING TO ME!”
Dad: “We’re fine, I’m sorry to worry you!”
You can see how this phone conversation went. And if you think that me typing in caps was an accident – it was not. It means that I was yelling! Yes, I was yelling at my parents for not picking up the phone and making me worry.
At this point, I realize that I get it.
I get where they were coming from all those years.
Let us know when you get home, they always said. Call if you’re going to be late, they always said. Be careful, they always said.
I now understand that no, they weren’t trying to kill my social life and they weren’t being mean.
They were being parents.
I talked to my mom this evening and she was chuckling at me and how upset I had gotten last night.
She has no idea. The only one who really knows is my brother because he got the brunt of my frustration at 11:30 last night.
Brother, thanks for listening! You deserve a purple heart.
And parents… get a NEW phone upstairs! If I have to enforce the rule of you calling me before you go to bed, I’ll do it, mister and missy.
Oh. My. God.
I’m my parents.