If even one of the circumstances hadn’t been in place, it never would have happened. 

A few months ago, the host brother of one of Juju’s foreign exchange friends was dropping her off at our house when he saw my daughter, Huh, come out and get into our car to go somewhere.  He liked what he saw.  Unknown to me, he inquired around and found out Huh’s cell phone number and started texting her.  He is 21.  She was 17.  They decided to meet.  Because Huh knew that I would be very wary of her dating a 21-year-old, she made the choice to keep it all secret from me.  They managed to meet secretly, Huh even sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night a few times, for about two and a half weeks before I caught them and the whole truth came out.  Trust was gone and privileges were taken away.  Shortly after that, the guy dumped her.

Huh has had to work hard to regain my trust.  She was still working to regain it this past weekend.  Friday night began as normally as normal can be in our busy household.  The teens all had various plans.  Yawlin had a couple of friends over for a “late-night” and Shroom had two friends sleeping over.  Those who were out all returned by curfew and we were able to settle in to bed at a fairly decent hour. 

At 4:30 a.m. Huh came into my room and woke me up.  “Mom, Patrick just called and says he needs to talk to me.  Can he come get me?”  Patrick is the 21 year old.

I sat up in bed and said, “At four thirty in the morning?  Absolutely not!”

“Mom, he says it’s important.”

“There is nothing so important that it can’t wait until a decent time of day.”

“What if I just talk to him on the front porch?”

“No.”  I pointed to the empty spot next to me in bed.  “Hub is obviously not sleeping well.  When he can’t sleep he goes down to the couch to try to sleep so that he doesn’t keep me awake.  It’s possible he is finally sleeping and I don’t want you waking him up by opening the front door.”

Huh looked at me for awhile and then said, “Okay.  I’ll tell him it can wait.”  She left my room and I remained sitting up in bed.  Now I couldn’t sleep.  What if she tried to sneak out?  I tried reading, with one ear listening for the squeak of Huh’s bedroom door.  Finally, at 6:30 I put my book down and dozed off.  At 6:50 my eyes flew open as I heard the front door quietly open and close.

I jumped out of bed and peeked out my bedroom blinds.  I could see the back of a figure with a black hoodie over their head going down the steps of our front porch.  At that moment a black SUV pulled around the corner and stopped in front of our house.  That is when the She-Bear mom instinct kicked in.  I pounded down the steps to the front door, threw it open, and yelled my daughter’s name at the top of my voice.  The black SUV stopped and I continued to yell.  “YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO LEAVE!”

The passenger window rolled down and the driver leaned forward.  I heard a male voice say, “What?”

“SHE DOES NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO LEAVE!”

Again I heard, “What?” And then I saw a flash of silver braces on the passenger’s teeth.  Huh does not have braces.  That is when I became totally mortified.  That wasn’t my daughter.  It was one of Shroom’s friends who had slept over.  Oh how I wished for a hole I could crawl into.  Embarrassment doesn’t even begin to describe what I was feeling.

I jogged down the porch steps and over to the waiting SUV, nervously laughing as I went.  As soon as I got to the window I put my hand on Zach’s knee and said, “I am so sorry.  I thought you were someone else.”

Zach leaned back in his seat and said, “I just have a track meet.”

I laughed and said again, “I am so sorry.”  I looked at Zach’s mom, the driver.  “I have had problems with a daughter sneaking out.  I thought Zach was her sneaking out again.  I am so sorry.”

She laughed and said, “It’s okay, I would have done the same thing.”  After wishing Zach luck at his track meet and apologizing again, I went into the house and they drove away.

Hub was sitting up on the couch, no longer asleep.  Huh was standing at the top of the stairs.  “Why did you yell my name?” asked Huh.

“Oh, uh, did you hear that?”

“Geez, I thought someone was dying.  It scared me to death.”  I laughed and Huh spun on her heal and went back into her room.

I walked over to Hub on the couch and plopped down beside him.  “Well, I just made a complete fool of myself.”  Hub laughed and rubbed my back.  I relayed the happenings of what had led up to my outburst to him and then put my head in my hands and groaned, “Oh, what must the neighbors think?”  Hub really laughed hard at that.  “And what must poor Zach and his mom be thinking?”

 Later, as the kids all started to wake up, the story was told to them.  Over and over the story got repeated, and I got to endure much teasing.  I looked at Shroom and asked, “What if Zach never wants to come over here again?”

Shroom laughed and said, “Well, who could blame him.  My crazy stepmom yelled at him.  Told him that he didn’t have permission to leave.”

Huh recounted how she’d been sound asleep when she heard me yell her name.  She instantly thought something was wrong and was tripping over all of her clothes to get to her door when she heard the second part of my yell about not having permission to leave.  Oh mom, she thought.  She moved to the stairs knowing that eventually I would discover that it wasn’t her that I was yelling at.

We had a family baptism later that morning.  As they called our group to leave the chapel to go into the room where the baptismal font is located Squid turned to me and asked, “Do we have permission to walk downt the hall?”  All of the kids laughed.  Needless to say, I endured a lot of teasing that day.

If there hadn’t been the past history of Huh sneaking out, it never would have happened.

If Patrick hadn’t called and wanted to talk to Huh at 4:30 in the morning, it never would have happened.

If Zach hadn’t had his hood on and I’d been able to see his hair and face, it never would have happened.

If Zach hadn’t been so darned quiet about opening and closing the door, it never would have happened.

I try to comfort myself.  At least Huh really was in her bed, where she was supposed to be.  At least Zach’s mom seemed to understand and even said she would have done the same thing.  And now Huh knows that I have no fear of making a scene in front of the neighbors if I ever catch her trying to sneak out.

But even with all of that…

…I am sooooo embarrassed!

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