Still on active duty

Well, she’s gone.

Frankly, I’m surprised she stayed as long as she did. When you’re 22, spending two months, essentially locked in a house with your parents can get a little old.

Even if there is wine.

Our daughter Emma left Monday to continue her internship in the Kansas City area. Emma has been working as an intern remotely since she’s been home with us but with things beginning to open up a bit in the Kansas City area, she is now able to continue her internship in person.

My wife isn’t thrilled about Emma living in the Kansas City area right now and I can’t say I blame her.

My wife tends to worry more than most people. So having Emma living and working in the Kansas City area while the coronavirus is still around has my wife a bit uneasy.

I’m sure a lot of people living in the Kansas City area are a bit uneasy right now. But the people where Emma is interning are all wearing masks and practicing safe, social distancing. And the apartment building where Emma is living has strict rules in place so I think we just have to sort of roll with the unease.

Emma’s first full day of her now in-person internship was today. She called me a few minutes ago to ask a question about wine. Not sure why she called me but, hey, I guess any port in the storm.

Emma was in a great mood when she called. She told me she couldn’t wait to call my wife and me later this evening to tell us how her day went. When I asked Emma for a quick description of her day, she said, “Perfect.”

I thought that was something.

My wife returned to work-in person-last week so now my life is pretty much back to the way it was before all of this started.

I guess that’s a good thing. I mean, as I think I’ve mentioned in this space a few hundred times, I’m not much of a people person.

But still.

Veteran parents, who are older than my wife and me, tell us no matter how old our kids get we never stop being parents.

I can see that.

The way I look at it, at some point, things ease up for veteran parents. Some of the day-to-day parent chores get passed onto others. And eventually, most of the heavy, parent-chore lifting is handled by the kids themselves who are no longer such kids.

But again, the way I see it, you can never drop the veteran-parent uniform. What I figure happens is veteran parents eventually leave active duty but, when they do, they join the Veteran Parent Reserves.

You’re not really needed on a day-to-day basis but you’re there in the case of an emergency. You stay in veteran- parent shape and go to the occasional veteran-parent meeting just to keep yourself ready.

I guess that’s a decent analogy (Or metaphor. I can never remember the difference.) but I don’t know. First of all, I don’t think there is a veteran-parent uniform. And I’m not sure there are any official veteran-parent meetings out there.

So maybe it’s not such a great analogy.

Or metaphor.

My wife and I aren’t quite ready to leave veteran parents’ active duty. We probably could but we’re not quite ready. Emma will likely still need things from us. Not many, I’m sure, but some.

Emma will finish graduate school next spring and then-fingers crossed-will be able to find a job. When she does my wife and I will probably take another look at leaving veteran parent active duty.

For now, we’ll stick to our active-duty roles. My wife will continue to worry-pretty much non-stop-and I’ll keep saying helpful things like, “Is there more beer in the basement?”

My wife will continue to drive Emma crazy with her worrying and Emma will call me to say her mom is driving her crazy. Then I will politely suggest to my wife that, perhaps, just maybe, she should quit driving Emma crazy.

Then my wife will say “Why? Did she say something?”

And I will say, “No. Never. As far as you know.”

And then my wife will start worrying again.


I hope they’ll address all of this in the first Veteran-Parent Reserves meeting.