My mother thinks I drive too fast. When I was single I would call her when I got home after a visit, so she would know I got home safely. I didn’t know she set a timer so she would know if I had been driving too fast.
After one visit to see her in Flemington, I drove back to my home in Old Bridge (New Jersey). I got home, did a few things, and then remembered I hadn’t called her yet to let her know I was home.
“I knew it was you, the timer just went off,” she said.
“What?” I was confused by her connecting the timer and my phone call.
“I set the timer so I know when to expect your call. If you call before the timer goes off, then I know you were driving too fast.” She seemed pretty pleased with her system.
Note to self: Don’t call Mom immediately after getting home, she’ll worry that you’re driving too fast.
After that, I would note the time I left her house, and call about 45 minutes later. Sometimes I had been home for a few minutes, and sometimes not – it depended on traffic. This way she didn’t worry about my driving, and I didn’t worry about stressing her out.
Fast forward twenty years, and we had both moved from New Jersey to Florida. My mother was now living alone in Sebastian, and I was living in Vero Beach (about 16 miles apart). Now I am setting the timer for her call when she leaves my house to go back home.
This is just a little check we do when someone lives alone, because in my case my husband would notice if I wasn’t home and look for me if need be. Since my mother was living alone, no one was home to notice if she didn’t make it back. She would tell me about any stops she had planned, so I would know how much time to allot. Cell phones made it easier because if too much time elapsed I would call to see where she was.
It is interesting to me how the tables turn as we grow up; not that we necessarily become the parent, but as we adopt the habits of our parents we become more like them.