Mom Patrol


Last Saturday night I went out with a friend whom I’ve known since nursery school. Thirty-six years (thirty-seven in her case, but who’s counting?!) of friendship, and we actually now live in the same city. It was destiny.  But friendship isn’t where I’m going with this post. Although I could fill pages with the love stories of all the friends that have filled my life and made it even more complete.

Back to ladies night out…party time.

After a few glasses of wine, grilled artichokes, fried calamari, french fries, and a profiterole sundae I proceeded to drive home around midnight. Although I feel like I don’t have to say it, you never know: I was NOT drunk.  But you know who was drunk? A bunch of college students walking home from downtown. Living in Burlington you’re used to seeing college students everywhere. They’re one of the reasons why Burlington is such a lively city.  As I pulled up to the stop light at a major intersection on campus I noticed a bunch of drunk girls hobbling across the crosswalk. Both scantily clad, one holding the other up while her shoe kept falling off. I smiled to myself and laughed a little inside as I too was one of those drunk kids many years ago. In fact, the friend with whom I was out on Saturday has been my side-kick on many a night of debauchery. Heck, she even witnessed me pee my pants once while we traveled through Ireland together. I was 24. I blame it on the Guinness.  And now the entire BVT Mom’s blog readership knows that I wet myself as a young woman. I mean really, I hadn’t even had kids yet so there was no excuse for losing my control. Ahem.

So as I’m sitting in my car, listening to NPR (I don’t make this sh*t up), and watching these ladies stumble across the street, I stop smiling and…ROLL DOWN MY WINDOW!! “Hey girls, you ok?” I can’t even believe these words are coming out of my mouth.  Girls?  Who am I right now?! “Would you like a ride home?” More words are coming out my mouth, they just won’t stop! What am I saying?  I sound like my mother!  Wait?! I’ve turned into my mother. 

The girls look over at me, eyes glazed and heads lolling around on their necks like hipster bobble head dolls, and reply, “oh no, thank you…we’re ok.”  I stare back at them, mouth agape. I pause, not sure what to do. I finally snap out of it, roll up my window and drive home.  The entire time thinking to myself: I am SUCH A MOM!!! I mean really, I might as well have asked them where their jackets were and if they were cold. And really, where were they going to sit if they agreed to take me up on my offer for a ride? There’s no room in the backseat because it’s full of car seats, empty juice boxes, and smashed goldfish crackers.

The next day both my husband and my friend asked me why I wanted to give them a ride, reiterating the fact that a.) they couldn’t fit in my car and b.) they would have probably puked all over.  I couldn’t explain it…all I could say was, “I wanted to save them from a night of regret.”  Who knows, maybe they made it back to their dorms and passed out and slept until 2pm the next day. I know that is what I might have done when I was that age. But there were also those times that I didn’t just go home and sleep.  I’ve learned from my mistakes. And I have no regrets. So why was I trying to save them? Why interfere? I don’t know.

I feel like a mom every day…but last night I felt like I was getting old.

Like I should have been driving a mini-van with the words “Mom Patrol” painted on the side. What the h*ll am I going to do when my children get older and they have to figure things out for themselves? Like when Ruby walks home from a party, drunk with her arm around her girlfriend? Or when her friend doesn’t help her home at the end of the night?  Is there going to be some Mom Patrol keeping an eye out for her? If I start to think about it too much I get panicky and feel an anxiety attack coming on. I get really scared. I just have to take it one day at a time, watch them grow inch by inch and focus on the present moment and enjoy their innocence all while arming them with wisdom, good advice, and life skills that will help them on some future Saturday night.  Easier said than done.

Who needs Mom Patrol when you've got Brother/Sister Patrol
Who needs Mom Patrol when you’ve got Brother/Sister Patrol


  1. Why, Heather! So proud of you. You did just the right thing, from the standpoint of your kind and caring nature, and the mommishness of you. But maybe if there were more than one of you, or fewer of them, it might have been a little safer, Dollie? I mean there are some women out there who can’t be trusted (even though they are not men). From that point of view, maybe it is better to leave the window shut and the doors locked. (This is what comes of growing up in NYC.) But if I’m being honest, I, too, am often the first to open my arms to the displaced folks of the street, especially when they are cold or ill-appearing. Well, I seem to have come around 360 degrees in this argument, so never mind, dear. Do be careful, you are such a wonderful niece! And a wonderful mother!!! 🙂

  2. I feel like mom to the whole world sometimes, like the crazy mom-love you get when you have kids can save the entire world, or something.


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