Keystone parents

Sometimes I'm worried about who's minding the nest around here.

Last night was one of those weekend evenings where everyone in the house was headed for different activities:  G and Maddy to her basketball practice, Lauren at fencing and then a school dance, Sam here with me.  Later G and I headed to a movie and Maddy and Sam stayed home together.

When we got home just before 11 all the lights in the house were ablaze.  (Maddy does that when she babysits.)  We checked in on Maddy in her bedroom, kissed her good night, and headed to our room to read and wait for Lauren.

me:  What time does the dance end?
G:   Hmmm....I don't know. The usual 11?
me: Maybe this is something we should find out next time?
G:  Sounds good.
We read.

11:30  We text Lauren "when will you be home"?  No response, although she said she wouldn't have her phone with her during the dance so we're not too concerned.
{maybe the dance goes until midnight? didn't she say she didn't need a ride home?}
We read.  I snooze a little and wake up "Isn't she home yet?"

12:15      We text her again.  "time to come home...when will you be here?"
 Still nothing.
{it starts to be time to be worried.  Should we call her friends' parents? She was getting a ride home with A, right?  We debate calling A's parents
This is so unlike her!  We haven't even had to talk about curfews yet.
We fret, we stew, we wait--confident in Lauren's good head on her shoulders but increasingly worried and puzzled.

1:00 (I know!)  Greg grabs his phone and heads downstairs to call around.  First he tries one more phone call to Lauren.
{I start to envision walking through the streets and alleys, calling Lauren's name.  A sleepless night in a hospital waiting room.  Her face on a milk carton with one of those sketches of what she'd look like, 5 years older.  Oh, Lauren! I'm really good at working up a good worry, can you tell?}
Bzzzzzzzzzt.  I hear a phone vibrating nearby so I get up to check it out. Maybe Lauren's finally calling us back.
Bzzzzzzzzzt.  It's coming from Lauren's room...what? Shoot! Did she leave her phone home?
Bzzzzzzzzzt.  I open the door to a drowsy Lauren fumbling to answer her phone.

Oh, hello!!

So she was home the whole time, got home from the dance before we got home from our movie.  G had looked in her room but it was dark and he didn't see her.  So, so funny. Yes, we waited up two hours for a daughter who was already home.

That's us, the keystone parents, reporting for duty...

{Although this morning we had a little talk with Lauren about the principle of checking in with the parents when you come home, leaving a note to say "I'm home" or saying hi when we get home.}