I wrote a post yesterday then promptly deleted it. Not deliberately which is all the more frustrating and then couldn’t repeat it so didn’t post. I’d pressed the key to add a link (also not deliberately) and hit the cancel key expecting it to cancel the insert link but it cancelled the whole post. Frustrating and clearly shows I need to learn more about how to blog.
I was talking about worrying, in particular about my daughter who is 20. There seems to be a lot to worry about for 20 year olds in a way that I’m sure was not the case when I was 20. But that may just be because being 20 meant I didn’t have a 20 year old to worry about. Anyway, my now 20 year old is at uni in Manchester on a four year course. She is in her third year which is industrial placement and means she’s not in Manchester but Denmark. She also spent 10 days in South Africa helping on operations on crocodiles to insert monitors to find out how their hearts work. When she went there, she flew with a female friend with stuff in their suitcases that their supervisor had asked them to take over. Not quite ordinary stuff, this consisted of surgical gloves, syringes and needles. I think I mentioned that they were operating on crocodiles. Being a person who doesn’t like to fly, the only thing worse than my climbing onto a big metal bird, is my wee girlie being on one. And she does it quite frequently. So I have become. Adept at tracking flights and I saw her flight land safely at Johannesburg airport first thing in the morning. Following a happy sigh, I waited for the text “we’ve arrived!”. And I waited. And then waited a little bit more…
Fresh on my mind were those two girls in Peru now jailed for a lifetime. Ok it’s actually 6 years but it must feel like a lifetime to them and several lifetimes to their parents. I didn’t for a minute think my daughter had drugs (but then probably nor did their parents…) but I was acutely aware of the extra paraphernalia and how customs officials may require answers. And those answers could take a long time to find. My mind went into overdrive and my imaginings of harsh locked rooms in the depths of the airport took on a life of their own. I was at work so distracted a little by meetings and the like, but every opportunity to check my phone led to no message. What would I do? How quickly could I get a flight out and would I be able to rescue her from dismal solitary confinement?
The working day ended and I headed home, phone on the seat next to me and the volume turned up high. Nothing. What would I tell my parents when they phoned to ask if she got there safely? It was bad enough having me worry, I couldn’t cope with their worry too. I had an evening out planned – how could I even think about enjoying myself with my daughter locked up with no food or water?
Finally at 6pm the phone rang and a happy voice cheerfully told me of the amazing day she’d had. Lunch by a watering hole watching the water buffalo, soaking up the sunshine and finding zebra in the garden of the place she was staying at. Relief engulfed me but why take so long? “Oh,” she said, “my texts don’t work.” Thanks texts… I’m sure there will be plenty of other worried days as I can always find something to worry about. Next I’ll tell about the book she asked me to read.