Culture Magazine

Old Habits

By Grace Peterson @GracePeterson3
Yesterday morning, Susan, my twenty-two year old daughter, let me know she was going rock hunting with a guy she met in one of her classes. She got ready while I went outside to putter in the garden, which, as always, allows my mind to wander and form all kinds of scenarios, both triumphant and tragic. 
Reminders of a recently publicized local domestic abuse case darkened my mood so when Susan yelled, "I'm leaving..." I dropped my trowel and ran in from the backyard. 
"How well do you know this guy?" 
Already familiar with where this line of questioning was leading, she offered her usual platitudes. "He's fine mom. I've never gotten any weird vibes off him." 
"Well, where are you going?" 
She offered semi-detailed instructions but I went deaf after visualizing her in the country with a guy she barely knew. Old Habits"... I've got my pepper spray." 
"Just be careful and call me if you need to." 
And off she went. 
I returned to my gardening, praying for her safety, my only and admittedly best recourse. 
A few hours later the doorbell rang. Between the time I dropped my pruners, quickly brushed the dirt off my hands and walked to the house, my mind had worked out its anxiety-plagued scenario. It was the police. They were here to inform me that my daughter was... 
I looked out the window. No police car. Just someone selling Girl Scout cookies. 
Susan got home around 7 PM. She showed Steve and I her rocks and driftwood which we would use to embellish the garden. She had fun.
I doubt that I'll ever stop worrying about my kids. While their daily comings and goings are done in relative safety, there's always that possibility that something will go wrong--there will be a crash, an accident, a wrongdoing. That's just part of life. Fortunately as adults they can think and reason, using the gift of innate caution I've always encouraged them to heed. I could be a smother-mother-control-freak, which would undoubtedly push them away. Or I can pray, trust God to look after them when I can't. I continue to choose the latter. 
Old Habits

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