This morning as I drove my sixteen year old daughter to school I asked her to reschedule a meeting with her math tutor.
She said, “Mom, I’m an adult. I can take care of it. Well, almost an adult. You know what I mean.”
Being a parent is weird because if you do it right, you prepare your child for adulthood. Then when they become adults the bottom drops out of your universe, even if it is just a small drop, the reality is just so final.
Yesterday my brother Aaron asked me to come see something weird at his house, or the house he now uses as his law office. Weird was the key word. Anytime something weird happens he calls me, as if I’m supposed to take care of it, or know what it is, or have a profound thought on it.
When I got there Aaron took me down to the basement, which is really the first floor (it used to flood a lot so the first floors around here are really second floors.) The house in question is a charming 1885 Victorian complete with quaint gingerbread trim and ancient camellia bushes in the front yard. Anyway, down in corner of the lower floor, where the old heating unit used to be, was a hole.
This wasn’t a shallow hole. It was a pit. We both looked down into the darkness.
“What is it Aaron?”
“I don’t know,” said my brother. “I thought you’d know.”
I told him to wait and went out to my car to get a river rock I had in the trunk (don’t even ask.)
Without asking permission I dropped the five-pound rock into the pit. Nothing. Not a sound. Not an end. No thud. No splash. No scream. Nothing.
We looked at each other, Aaron and I.
Then we looked down at the pit.
“I can’t believe I’ll have two graduations this year. One from college and one from law school,” said Aaron.
My nephew and niece had done well. “I know you’re proud of them. I sure am. They grew up so fast.”
“Too fast,” said Aaron.
We talked for a while about our children, our parents, the elderly folks in our families, the big elections today in other states, our kids again, and our spouses. Before you know it a half hour had passed, then just as we were ready to go upstairs I heard a faint noise. It wasn’t a thud of a rock crashing on rock, or the sound of water. It was a faint growl, that sounded like a small angry dog dropping an F bomb. Then a puff of yellow smoke, smelling of sulphur came up from the pit.
“I think you’d better cover that,” I said.
“Good idea,” said Aaron.
Over coffee we figured whatever was in that hole wasn’t any worse than anything above ground. I mean, I can’t imagine sitting quietly in my dark dank hole for a thousand years and suddenly having someone drop a river rock on my head for no reason. I wouldn’t blame it for being pissed off.
I drove home thinking about the pit, but mostly thinking about my almost grown children. Almost grown. Oh well, stranger things have happened.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
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Every Thursday is the regular advice column Ask Juliette, where all your questions might be answered. And I mean all of your questions. Ask anything from Vampires, relationships, parenting, Zombies, cooking, pets, weird stuff… you name it and I’ll try to get an answer back at you. If you have a question email me at juliettevampiremom @ gmail.com