I love having my daughter home. Really I do. Not that I see her a lot. She sleeps late and goes out with friends until long after I’ve gone to bed. I’m either working or she’s occupied during the few hours we overlap awake and in the house together.
But the times that we do happen to be in the same room at the same time are wonderful and we’ve caught up on each other’s lives nicely.
There are some things I don’t like about her being back though. One is the slight worry I have when she’s out at night. When she’s at school we don’t know what she’s doing, and therefore don’t worry; but when she’s here we feel her absence when she’s out. Also I hear the door open when she gets home at 2 or later.
One night, soon after she came home, she called to say she’d be late getting home. I woke up sometime after 2 and eventually heard her come in. Knowing she was home safely, I fell asleep again.
I was rudely awakened by Dean, slamming doors and loudly exclaiming how upset he was that Clare had not come home. I got up and helped look for her, telling Dean I’d heard her come home. He was angry with her for blatantly disobeying her 2:00 curfew. We called her cell phone and I called her roommate’s cell phone. I was getting ready to call the mother of one of her friends — someone she’d been out with the night before, but didn’t want to call too early. I figured she’d come home and went out again for a good reason — maybe her roommate or friend needed someone to talk to.
I really was not worried until Dean noticed she had not taken her winter coat, wallet or shoes. He also thought he could hear her cell phone when he called it. I switched from calm to frantic, sure that someone had come in the house at night and taken her away. I walked to Dean who was in the laundry room and decided to call the mother of that friend — too early or not. I looked down as I walked past the catch-all closet in the basement and saw a fragment of my bathrobe — which she’d been wearing lately. I opened the door of the closet and found Clare asleep on the floor of the closet, covered in blankets and a Snugli and wearing my bathrobe.
She opened her eyes, looked at me and said, “I slept in the closet. I left you a note.”
We found the note a little later, words scribbled at the bottom of a pencil drawing in her sketchpad next to the basement couch.