This weekend, the hubby and I went to the movies with another couple. We went to see Blockers, which is a comedy based on parents who are trying to save their three daughters from following through with a pact they made with one another on prom night. These parents believe that if they don’t reach their kids in time they will be making the biggest mistake of their lives. The movie takes you on a hilarious and predictable journey as they desperately try to hunt their girls down at prom, parties and hotels. It’s the kind of insanity you would expect from middle-aged parents going back to prom night.
The movie began with the parents meeting on the first day of kindergarten as their daughters became instant friends. Sitting with our friends, whom we have known since our youngest kids were in preschool, was a little surreal. I couldn’t help but let my mind wander to some of those moments over the years where we were watching our kids go to their first day of high school, dances and parties. We, too, have shared a lot of memories over the years. What makes this movie funny and relatable is that while we have yet to hunt any of our children down (we still have to make it through the next two years of high school so it’s still possible) we understand their desire to protect them at all costs. We are the kind of parents who will stay up all night hoping the phone DOESN’T ring when our kids are out. We text them to “see how things are going” and one of us (I won’t mention names) has used code words with the promise of calling the police if the corresponding code word is not texted back ASAP.
There comes a point in parenting where the strings have to be cut. We have to trust that we have done our job and they will make the right decisions. The problem is that we all have differing views of when that time is. Sometimes, we even agree, but then we get a wild thought and our mind travels down a rabbit hole and we can’t find any way out other than speaking to our child face to face to be sure they are safe. It’s ugly. I’ve been there. I’m not going to lie, I have been known to call roommates to see if my daughter is still breathing. I have used Find Friends, which rarely makes me feel better because do you really want to know where they are at 2am on a Friday night? I have forced my kids to FaceTime me so I can see their face because I can tell if they are lying and the reality is they rarely lie. They just straight up tell me and I DON’T REALLY WANT TO KNOW. The thing is that while these things sometimes made me feel a little better in the moment it didn’t last.
The reality is that they don’t just go out ONE time. They aren’t faced with difficult decisions ONE night of their life. They don’t just go out and drink on the their 21st birthday, they are legal FOREVER! Nobody tells you before you have children that the diapers, car seats, and middle of the night feedings are the easy part. Nobody tells you that high school is just the beginning of your nightmares and that 18 is just an age.
I can remember coming home AFTER I was married and my mom would say, “ahhh, everyone is in their bed and under one roof.” I thought she was just being nostalgic, but what she was really saying was, “ahhh, thank God I can get a full night’s sleep because everyone is under one roof and I don’t have to sit here awake all night worrying about what they might be up to.”
The point is that while this movie made me laugh until I cried, at its core it speaks to all of us who just don’t know how to let go. Our kids are our kids forever and I guess you never stop worrying about them which means we may never sleep again…
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G