By Lorry Myers
Sometimes the panicked phone calls you’d expect in the middle of the night, come instead in the middle of the day. Frantic calls full of of desperation.
This was one of those calls.
“Mom,” the voice whimpered, tears not far behind. “I just called to tell you I’m quitting school.”
“Mariah, is that you?” I asked, knowing full well who it was.
My daughter, at that time, was a high school senior with only a few weeks left to go. Since the beginning of this monumental year, Mariah had been on a perpetual countdown, the countdown to the rest of her life.
“I just can’t do it,” she moaned. “There is just too much to do.”
In the past few months, a cloud of procrastination had settled over this girl like a fog. Term papers and dorm applications littered her conversations and her desk. A portfolio had yet to be completed, the one she was assigned at the beginning of her senior year and suddenly, she was certain she was going to fail.
Nobody had time for that.
“Take a deep breath. First things first.” That wasn’t all I said, but I got the feeling she wasn’t listening anyway.
“Oh by the way,” Mariah hurriedly added while she had my full attention. “I need a book for my summer class and a deposit to hold the rest and my car is on empty.”
With that, I knew this girl was going to be just fine.
She wasn’t hurt or in trouble or actually going to quit. She was just overwhelmed, under prepared, out of gas and out of time. Still, she had to snap out of it and that is what I said and what she expected to hear even though she never heard a word. It was my voice my daughter needed, just the sound of my voice.
That and my checkbook.
The very next day, the phone rang again, again in the middle of the day. It was my daughter, but not the same one, isn’t she supposed to be in class?
“Mom.” Hilary said, with tears that sounded vaguely familiar. Apparently, she too, wanted to quit, she just couldn’t do it.
Here we go again.
For the complete column see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.