Yesterday at work, I was winding down, knowing that the impending snow event would probably give me a 3-day weekend. All week, I’d braved roads still tricky from the previous weather-event, leaving my daughter to sleep in indefinitely for the 3 days of no school and a little longer for yesterday’s 2-hour delay. I hadn’t missed a minute of work this week—only one other employee matched my accomplishment—so giving myself a much-deserved break from work when I couldn’t safely do otherwise was an anticipated treat. I’d used my lunch hour to do the food shopping, so we’d be all set to hunker down for the weekend.

Then, at 4:07, I get a call from my daughter with the tidbit that a wire on her braces broke. Just now? No, at school. The orthodontist will be closing in a half hour and tomorrow the roads will be horrible. Why didn’t you call me when it happened so we could have gotten it fixed today when the roads are OK? I didn’t have time between classes with the short day. It’s an emergency. You just tell your teacher you need to call me.

So I call the orthodontist. No after-hour special visit for this. I schedule a next-day appointment I’ll either have to cancel from home (what I did) or apologetically from the icy ditch on my cell a few minutes before (I’m all about communication).

I call my daughter to tell her the plan. She’s defensive and disrespectful. I don’t put up with disrespect and tell her I’m not going to talk with her under these circumstances. She texts me that she needs to talk, so I text her to call me at 5:05 as I head home.

When she called, she apologized for being disrespectful, and told me some news. I told her that I accepted her apology, that the news was interesting, but that I was upset. She asked why.

I was upset over adult stuff, I told her, and that I just needed some space. I thought about not being taken care of. That I didn’t have a husband to watch the traffic report, walk out to our road and touch the surface, and drive me in “OK if you take your time and look for slick spots” conditions. This wasn’t her baggage. She simply had acted like a teenager—procrastinated, talked back, and then apologized.

I told her I wasn’t upset with her. But she wanted me to talk. So I went ahead and told her how I felt. You know why? Because as long as we do all that we can to make sure that our kids don’t feel responsible for the adult problems, they need to see us as people. And have a chance to care for us. So I told her, crying over the Bluetooth speaker, how I was scared to drive on icy roads, how I needed a cozy break from work, and how I felt like a baby left out in the cold. I told her this was my baggage.

When I got home, she helped me unload the other baggage–$132 worth of groceries– and we fed and petted a neighborhood cat we hadn’t seen in years. And she gave me a lot of hugs.

Nobody made it to work today. I’m going to reschedule the orthodontist appointment. My daughter said this morning it wasn’t that uncomfortable, so I’m hoping there will be no need for me to get out the needle-nose pliers and practice without a license.

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