Yes, you admit to being a Stalker Mom. Your offspring may want to weigh in on this one. They need to produce a film with this title because it would scare the bejebes and Jujy fruits out of tweens, teens and beyond.
It takes great skill to stalk from a great distance via a cellular device. And it’s not true stalking…is it submarining?–a term you coined for those parents who have lurked in the background (online or onphone) checking up on offspring. (More on that later).
a) Your son called a few nights ago and said he was ill. The following day your husband tried to contact him to see if he’s feeling better. He left him a voicemail saying, “Hey–how are you feeling? Give me a shout this evening.” He’s usually good about calling back.
b) A couple of days later–still not a word. Of course, you are picturing him lying on the floor of the Health Clinic, if he was even able to make it that far. Or he might be collapsed on the grassy quad in a heap, calling out weakly for blue powerade.
Don’t they have those live campus-cams online now?
You sent him a quick lil text: “How u feeling. Call me,” and then you advanced to “Call me when u wake up.” (You don’t comma or dash while texting). He should be awake for class, if he felt well enough to stumble off into the day. He is great about texting, but now there’s nary a syllable.
c) So then you called him and he doesn’t pick up. You actually call him again and he still doesn’t pick up. You are embarrassed to admit, that you call him ten more times (believe it or not–and yes, a healthy dose of sleep-deprived, anxiety-fueled hormones had set in) and he still does not pick up. You have not acted like this since 10th grade. He’s had ample time to shower, change and be on his way to class. Then you text him and say ‘call me, now.’ Then you wait five minutes. ‘CALL ME ASAP.’ Then you wait 5 more minutes. Then you call him again. (Of course, back in your day you spoke with your parents once a month on the wall-phone in your dorm room).
He picks up, chuckling. “Mom–what are you doing?”
“Why didn’t you pick up or text us? I wanted to make sure you felt better!”
“Well, I still feel sick but I’m going to bowling anyway.”
“Well, I have to be able to get in touch with you. I have to. It’s important. What if it was an emergency!?”
“But it wasn’t.”
“What if it is. I HAVE to be able to reach you. And if I can’t reach you, I’m going to try and call your roommate.”
Whoa–he was speechless. He’d be mortified if you ever called his roommate.
You both hang up to let him go to the alley. (Bowling instructor for college PE–Note to Self: you WANT that job. Yet aren’t qualified).
Later you text him one last time and say: “Ginger ale bananas good for nausea.”
You hope he doesn’t eat that awful bowling alley food. And if that’s the worst thing you have to worry about today, you are doing. just. fine.
Then, you shelve the worry, and move on. Sometimes, you just need to hear their voice, whether large, small, sick or well. That’s not stalker parent, that’s simply Uber-Concerned Parent.
Actually–fried onion rings, hot dog and a coke are soundin’ awful good about now.