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In teenager time, every summer night is a Friday night. There’s always something going on, friends doing stuff, reasons to stay out past your bedtime. Or maybe it’s past my bedtime. Last night, as anyone over the age of twenty five or anyone with a job would tell you, it was Monday night—typically a dull early-to-bed-get-the-week-started-right-night. Not here. Here it was stay-out-late-then-have-all-my-friends-come-home-with-me-night.

My husband is out of town, so last night’s oversight and supervision was up to me—the one typically in bed sound asleep by 9:00. Well, let me just say when the kids were young, they were actually scared of me. I was the hammer, the ultimate authority, the-one-who-must-be-obeyed. But now, I am just sleepy and pretty much assume my work here is done, and they are on their own. Not to mention the fact that they don’t listen to me anyway. My intimidation factor has diminished over time. You can threaten to kill your children only so many times without following through before they just roll their eyes and ask for more money.

But last night I was ready for them. I started a movie at 8:45, feeling pretty alert. At 10:05, my chin slipped out of my hand and landed on my chest, so I brushed my teeth and then read in bed. Actually, I was in bed thinking how great it would be if you could read with your eyes shut. At 10:32, I took a nap with the lamp on. At 11:38, my daughter came in to say they (how many?) were home and that they would “probably stay home, unless we decide to go to Whataburger.” In my younger days, I would have said something like, “Over my dead body,” but nowadays I am more subtle, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. At 12:40, I woke up and thought, “Oh shit, surely they didn’t go anywhere and what about my stupid son? Where the hell is he?”Really not wanting to face a ravenous horde of sixteen year old girls, I stayed in bed and, squinting to see the keys, sent my daughter a text message, “Where r u?”Thank God, she and the rest of them were home. About that time, I heard male voices. My son? I guess it is or it could be part of my daughter’s entourage. I listened as carefully as I could. Yep, sounds like him along with a few of his friends. At least they’re here. I felt confident enough to turn off the lamp, because my son usually makes sure everything thing is locked up, the lights are off, and the alarm is set. At 2:34 I woke up when a door closed up stairs. It was like daylight downstairs and who knows what was locked or not. I got up and took care of the lights, locks, and alarm, not really knowing or caring if I was locking my sweet teens in or out. Oh well.

At 3:46, I woke up again because I had a bad dream about cracking open giant, blue golf balls and finding things to eat inside while chasing a princess in a wagon down the interstate. Don’t ask me why that was a bad dream, maybe the golf ball food tasted like Whataburger. Fortunately, when I went back to sleep I dreamed that I flew out of my car over a beautiful green hill and caught up with the speedy princess. I love flying dreams, and was sleeping exceptionally well when the yellow cat walked right across my chest, or more accurately, right across my bosom which made me shoot straight up out of bed and then the cat flew, just like me in my dream, across the room. (Because this cat has no problem walking across me in the middle of the night, I usually assume a dead man’s pose while sleeping: arms across my chest, head raised slightly on my pillow, serious frown on my face.)

Against all odds I went back to sleep, and at 7:51—which is exactly three hours past my normal getting up time—both of the cats came in to check my pulse with their furry little paws and, convinced that I was near death, Bud tried to resuscitate me by licking my face with a brillo pad.I took a hint, gave up, and got up.

Hard to believe, but it is almost lunchtime and I have made it this long without a nap…and tonight it’s Friday night all over again.