The Premature Empty Nest
Wednesday - April 05, 2006
The look on my wife’s face when she opened the envelope indicated to me that something major was about to occur. Nothing good ever comes from that look, so I braced myself for the news.
“Our daughter got invited to a birthday slumber party,” she cried.
I was relieved as it was only an invitation for our 8-year-old daughter to attend a sleepover. My wife acted as though our daughter was going off to college: “This is going to be the first time she’ll be away from us!”
I started laughing at my wife as she was overreacting, probably due to fact that her baby girl was going to be gone for at least 24 hours. Our 16-year-old son threw in his two cents, “Mom, it’s just overnight. She’ll have fun with all her little friends.”
I guess he had forgotten about when he had his first sleepover at a YMCA camp. My wife was a basket case and didn’t get any sleep that night. Of course, when my wife doesn’t sleep, that directly transfers on to me as she must have a partner with whom to commiserate.
Not wanting to go through that again, I told my wife that she was being silly and that she had nothing to worry about.
She shot back, “She’s ‘daddy’s girl,’ aren’t you the slightest bit worried about it?”
“Heck no!” I replied, showing her that I had the emotional strength of a drill sergeant.
That seemed to calm my wife’s apprehension so that on the night of the sleepover she joyfully coordinated our daughter’s preparation. I, on the other hand, started acting as though our daughter was going out on her first date, which, for your information, will not occur until she’s 30.
That night, I must have called our daughter at least three times to make sure she was OK. I made sure my truck was gassed up in case I had to go to pick her up. I also made sure the telephone was right next to my pillow should she call. All my wife could say was, “You’re pathetic!”
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