Don’t worry – if after having a day filled with trying and at times fiery communications with your fifteen year old son, and you wake up at 2:00am and can’t fall asleep, so grab your book and pillow and head downstairs so as not to disturb your spouse, and you find lights on, not only in the bathroom but downstairs, and your son’s room, and your son isn’t in there – or anywhere in the house, which you then go through very carefully, room to room, checking under beds and in closets, nooks and crannies, to be sure he is not sleeping in some alternative teenage logical space – and find his bodily presence truly gone, so you awaken your spouse and you both begin to wander the house, and you begin to think that perhaps his strong reaction to your previous agitated state had stronger roots than you were aware, and he decided to go missing, and didn’t even take his raincoat, and it was raining, and his cellphone goes to automatic reply when you call it, and you get the flash of calling the police – and your child’s grainy photograph showing up on small milk cartons – but your spouse says ‘not yet’, so instead you get in the car and begin driving down the road looking for a lone dark figure walking, hunched or lying down somewhere, spent or trying to stay out of the rain – don’t worry.
For you might see not one, but two dark figures walking side by side down the sidewalk, in the rain, toward home, roll down your window, be approached and hear – “Hi, Mom. So and so was up so we took a walk” (and so-and-so waves to you and you wave back – as if everything is light and as it should be), and after subdued exchanges of low-key teenage challenge and subtle parental corrections, you roll the window back up, turn around, and head home as their wet walk completes itself – and breathe a measured sigh of relief – cross (as of your unlocking) the unlocked kitchen door threshold, assuring your spouse all is well – and wait for the wee-hour sojourner, who shortly thereafter, arrives over that same threshold, whose previously locked state you inform him of – and, after some teenage logic explanation, and some parental correction, you hear, “I usually leave a note.”
And you find out this wasn’t, in fact the first, but the third time such a sojourn was taken since the beginning of the summer – but all others he left notes, but bothered not to this time, since the others we had not awakened for. Don’t worry.