“Do you mind if I bring my easel to school?”
“No, not at all. If you don’t have room in your dorm you can drop it off at your Uncle Rod’s.”
I felt a sting in my nose and eyes, trying not to get squishy. Crap. I knew this would happen.
“Mom are you getting squishy?” He came over and put his arms around me.
“I’m sorry. It just seems like it all happened so soon.”
“I love you mom.”
I always believe my parents were more than happy to ship my brother Val and me off to college. No tears, just a lot of stern advice that we had no intention of following. One thing I can can give my parents credit for was allowing me to go to college and not worry about it making me unfit for marriage or motherhood. After all, we were a little different, and I’d like to say more advanced and enlightened than most of the general population. It was the last half of the century, the Nineteenth Century, and times were changing. Anyway, we were all but kicked out of the house and my parents packed up and moved to San Francisco leaving us on our own. But that is another story for another time.
Garrett was packing up when I stopped him and told him to sit with me a bit.
“Honey, Garrett, you’re going to be on your own. I know you think you can handle it but your dad and I won’t be able to get you out of situations, so you need to be smart. Don’t feed off of binge drinkers because you don’t want to be responsible for a medical emergency. The blood loss might make them too sick. Stay away from club drugs because you might get sick and end up throwing up all night. Stay about from anyone on prescription pain killers because they make you loopy. You know how you’re so sensitive to everything. Avoid Vampires who aren’t part of our circle. You don’t need any creepers trying to recruit you. They’re like freaking Scientology weirdos or rabid PETA people or Young Spartans or whatever the Hell all of those mind control folks that go after Regular Humans. They’ll go after you too because they don’t know what you are so you’ll get it in all directions. Believe me, they’ve come after me at one time or another. They do it to everyone. Just smile and walk away. If you have to scare them do it, but don’t let them know you’re a Vampire. You can’t be a Vegan or you’ll die so don’t get on that bandwagon. You’re first and foremost a predator. That isn’t a bad thing. Stay clear of the Vampire weirdos. They might seem interesting or exciting but they’re nothing but trouble and they’ll drag you down. They have their own cults. They will suck you in before you even know it. We went over this before but stay away from them. They’re scum. Stay away from older Vampire women. They look young and beautiful but they’ll suck you dry and try to control you. They just want to use you, especially considering who your family is. I will do serious serious deadly damage to any of them if they try to so much as run a hand through your hair. And watch for Zoe and your other female friends, keep the old Vampire bastards away from them. They come in and charm with their good looks and … just keep them away from the girls. This is your time to be young Vampires, you don’t need a bunch of old shits trying to take advantage of you.
Don’t fall in love with the first girl you meet, even if she is a Vampire. Don’t let your friends fall in love with the first person they meet either. Watch out for each other. Stay away from sugar. I know you’ll be on the coast but even on foggy days wear your sun screen and a hat. Never let anyone know you’re a Vampire. Don’t even hint at it, even if it comes up in conversation. Never show your fangs even when you’ve been drinking. And don’t drink too much. You can drink everyone under the table, sure, but eventually it will even get to you. Get enough sleep. OK. And call me or text me and let me know how you are. You can call me anytime, night or day, about anything, anytime.”
Garrett took put his arms around me and said, “Mom, I’ll be OK. Remember, you’re my mom. You raised me right. I know this stuff. I got it. OK?”
“I know, but…” I started to say.
“I love you mom.”
Even Vampires get choked up when it comes to their kids.
We packed up his car, his friend Randy’s car, their friend Zoe’s car, and two cars for the parents to drive back home in… and off we went for the weekend. We moved them in and then drove home. A few extra days, a visit with Uncle Rod, and a few stops at wineries along the way helped. I’m find, we’re all fine, or kids will be fine. We raised them right. I’m so proud and excited but it went by way too fast.
When you’re a mom you’ll always be a mom. Always. That is what I like about the job – the ultimate job. Sigh.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman