The phone rang last night.
At about 11:45 p.m.
There is nothing good that you're going to hear when the phone rings that late, y'know? I no longer fear that it's about my parents -- both are dead. But I do worry about my daughters when that happens.
And it was Daughter #3, who has made some choices for her life in the last five or so months that have caused us some angst and necessitated our establishing some boundaries.
It was not fun and it was not easy, and we'll talk about it for days. But we cannot help her. At 25, fast approaching 26, she has made conscious choices that have effectively put her future, her very limited resources, and her loyalities in one pot -- and that pot came to a big yelling, screaming boil sometime last night. And we can't help her.
Her call roused us from sleep after a long, exhausting day, which didn't make it easier. And we've expected the wheels to loosen on that particular train for some time, and have talked at length about what to do. Bottom line -- and what Tony told her last night -- she got herself into this situation and she is going to have to figure out how to deal with it. We finally figured out that our well-intentioned efforts to help her extract herself from ugly situations of her own making only enable her to go out and do it again.
She is smart, exceptionally resourceful, is very good at figuring out "the system," and she will be okay -- and that should make it easier to hear -- except that she is our kid, we love her, and we just weep at the obstacles she places in her life journey. Mostly they are her own doing, her own decisions. And we also know that while we can talk until we are hoarse, she will do as she wants and rationalize her decision so that it makes sense to her.
So we're done. Not with loving her: we always will love her and want good things for her. But her choices and her decisions are hers to deal with. Not ours.