The Phone Call

The Phone Call

My son phoned me yesterday.
I was driving home from a book discussion with friends when his name popped up on my car console.

What is it about unexpected calls from adult children?
Are moms – parents – just trained to react with fear when a child phones suddenly?
Or perhaps that’s my own peculiar genetic curse.

What’s wrong, I instantly thought. What terror has befallen him.
Is he still sick from his second Covid shot?
Did he have an argument with his fiancé? (They never seem to fight.)
Was she hurt?
Was he?
Did their Golden doodle somehow get loose, race across a highway and get run over?
Was my son by the side of the road, his car a flaming mess, after being rear-ended?
Or worse, far worse, had he “picked up” again.

I hate myself for even thinking that last.
But it’s there, isn’t it?
It’s there for every parent whose child has ever “picked up” and suffered years of addiction. It’s there because of relapses and the phone calls where he did tell me that was the reason for the call.

But not on this day.
Not after more than nine years in recovery. It was no longer a lost boy who was phoning me, but a man who had worked hard to find himself, follow the steps, learn from a sponsor, and even teach me how to be a better parent, a better person.

Why was he calling? Only to ask about the book talk on opioids with two authors I’d recently moderated. He’d missed it and wanted to know, “How was it?”

That was all.
That was everything.

My son phoned me yesterday.
And I’m still smiling.


6 Replies to “The Phone Call”

  1. Lisa, how touching.! Many mothers have fears when an adult child calls unexpectedly – with different scary scenarios running through their heads. While mine are reoccurring cancer scares, those few seconds are terrifying. You articulate well the fears we have. So happy for your son’s continuing recovery and your “ordinary” phone call.

    1. Janet, yes – it’s universal, isn’t it?
      Thank you, too, for your kind words. And for reading.

  2. Nobody ever told me that ad a mother one never stops worrying. Your thoughts mirror my thoughts.

  3. Lisa, I’m so grateful that your son continues to remain on the path. He, and you, are an inspiration to so many. Happy Mother’s Day! ❤️

    1. Dale, you are so kind to write. You inspire so many…I always will admire you.