Kyle texted us to say he was leaving Berkeley at 11:00pm. He was already past his curfew. But the day had slipped away from him. He went to CAL to visit with his wonderful girlfriend and take her to an "early" dinner for her 18th birthday. They walked into one of the most popular restaurants in Berkeley, Pizzaiolo on Telegraph, and waited for a table. They dined on the chef's special pizza and Kyle had made sure the waitress put a candle in his girlfriend's desert. Then he drove her back to her dorm.
By the time he was ready to leave it was 11:00. So I waited in my bed to hear the front door open and for Kyle to walk into my bedroom and give me a kiss goodnight. The minutes ticked by. I dozed off for a moment and awoke to a noise that I thought was Kyle walking through the front door. I took a breath of relief. But it wasn't Kyle. I awoke at the exact time he should have been home, calculating the time it takes to get from his girlfriend's dorm to our house. But there was no Kyle. I jumped out of bed and began to pace. I screamed to Tom, "Where is he? Don't you think you should go looking for him." "No," he said. "I am sure he just didn't leave when he said he would."
"Aren't you worried," I asked. "He's fine," Tom answered.
This made me angry. And I had no idea what to do with my anger. It was now past 12:00 and no Kyle. I could actually feel pain deep within my loins, the very place I carried him to life. I ached with worry.
I couldn't call him because he would be driving. I thought about calling his girlfriend, but didn't have her number.
So, I opened the front door and stood on the side walk and watched the cars go by. Clad in only a long tee shirt and underwear I stood outside, barefoot on the concrete as I tried to visualize Kyle in the headlights of each car that passed. Kyle did not materialize.
Finally, I spotted our car and a left blinker clicked on. Kyle turned into our driveway. Leaving the front door open, I slipped back into my room.
How was I going to handle this when Kyle walked in? Was I going to scream at him for missing curfew and for being so late? What was his excuse going to be? I knew I had to handle this right. I knew our open relationship depended upon how I was going to handle my emotions.
Kyle walked into the room. He told me he left Berkeley after he said and was afraid to call us because he knew that we would be angry at him. He told me he pulled over at Larkspur and texted Dad. Dad hadn't checked his texts.
"I was so scared," I sobbed to Kyle. "I thought you were hurt."
Kyle knew instantly that he should have called me before he left Berkeley--that his fear of making me angry was much less important than his inadvertent attempt of scaring the living wits out of me.
He realized halfway through his drive home what he might be putting me through and tried to make contact with us. Although, I never got the text, I was grateful that he had finally tried to do the right thing.
I surprised myself and Kyle by not being angry. Kyle had made a mistake. He had poor judgement. He knew what he had done was hurtful to me. And I know that he will never make that mistake again.
In his adolescent brain, he was more afraid of making me angry than of worrying me. He knows now that the contest isn't even close.
The punishment for his hideous crime is knowing that he put be through a little bit of hell. And nobody wants to put a menopausal Jewish Mom through one of the longest nights of there life.