The late 90’s were a struggle for all of us to figure out how to make it on our own. My mom was adjusting to being divorced and starting her new career as a magistrate. My brother was hopping from university to university, going from major to major. After graduation I had packed up and traveled half way around the world to join the Peace Corps. All of us were searching for a different life than the one we had, because the one we had didn’t exist anymore.
When Joey moved back home to finish his degree, it took a lot of patience and compromise to get through. Mom had to adjust to having an adult son in the house, and Joey had to to adjust to not living on his own anymore. Those were some of the hardest times for both of them.
One night Joey had gone out on a date and didn’t come home. Mom didn’t say anything but the next night Joey was going out with the same girl again. When she arrived to pick Joey up, my mom walked out to the car.
Joey’s date, who mom had known for many years, rolled down the window and greeted mom. Mom made conversation, asking her how she was, how her parents were, how school was going, and so on. Joey, who was now in the passenger seat, was antsy and saying, “We have to go mom.”
My mom has an incredible gift for making a short story long, and after several minutes of what was surely agonizing chit chat for my 21 year-old brother, my mom leans down and puts her head in the window and says, “Ok, you two have fun tonight on your date. Oh, and just remember, a date ends with you bringing Joey home at the end of the night.”