Another One From the Old Man

Ella is off on an adventure with her friends, so here’s another substitute post from mister Ella’s father. And speaking of adventure, picture this great moment in parenting. 3:30 am. Phone rings. I’m already half awake because Ella and 3 friends are in the middle of a long, late-night car trip to the beach. As a dad, I’ve been proud but also worried to let these four eighteen year-olds take off on their own. I’m glad they can be so independent, but at the same time, I’ve got to admit to trepidation about all the trouble that can befall young women who don’t have a lot of life experience.

So when the phone rings at 3:30, you’re hoping to hear, “we’ve made it to the house” not “there’s something seriously wrong with the car.” Which is what I did hear.
“We’re somewhere in Rhode Island and the exhaust pipe is dragging on the pavement. The guy in the gas station says it’s serious. What do we do?”

After some more discussion about where they are, how much more mileage they have to cover, and how disabled the car really seems to be, I advise them to get a hotel room and sort out the car in the AM. Which they proceed to do. And they stay calm throughout the whole episode. They find a holiday inn to sleep through what’s left of the night. In the morning they find a service station to replace the worn out brackets on the exhaust, and they continue on their way.That afternoon, they reach the beach house, worn out, but also happy and safe.

As a parent, this is what you hope for. I don’t mean that I wish hardship on Ella, obviously, but I know that hardships will come nonetheless. The important thing is that she is prepared to tackle tough situations and sort them out on their own. That’s why I OKed this trip in the first place. It’s time for Ella to step out on her own and weather the challenges that come her way.

She’s got this success under her belt. It should make the next ones that much easier.

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