So Saturday night I woke up at 3 am and realized my girls, aged 15 and 17, were not home.
Carlos - "Are they supposed to be?"
"Carla, yes. Sean is spending the night at Michelle's."
"Think she's at Michelle's yet?"
First, I said a Hail Mary and then a prayer to the angels, to my dude, Michael especially. "Archangel, protector, please make sure my girls and their friends are safe."
Behind my closed eyes, I saw two large white wings folding around the girl group. The picture of the girls was peaceful, tranquil. I knew they were fine.
I got out of bed and made a phone call to Sean, age 15. They were just leaving the Mint, a downtown dance club. Yes, a bar. They were all going, Carla included, to Michelle's to spend the night.
"Stay in a group!" I said.
"Yes," Sean said. "Mom, (exasperated) we're fine!"
I know. If you are a parent in the United State of American reading this you are horrified, scandalized and doubt my parenting skills. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
In San Miguel de Allende, teens go to bars. There is probably some law on the books saying they can't, but that law is waived every weekend if the teen at the door is good-looking and well-dressed enough. My kids, ages 15 and 17 love to go to upscale clubs with major sound systems. It's about being with their friends and dancing, they insist. Plus, I know they don't drink, and the kids in their crowd who drink do so with restraint. In other words, getting falling down drunk is exceedingly uncool. "Mom," says Sean. "You can always tell the Americans in the bars. First, the girls wear clothes that show their bras! Second, by 11 o'clock. they can't even stand up!" She curled her lip in disdain.
In 2012, we gave permission. You might have to be on overtime with us for awhile, I advised my angels. That would cut down on the sneaking out and allow us to set curfews. Which has worked pretty well, except for one staying-out-all-night incident, so far.
The girls came in on Sunday morning around 10 a.m., glowing. They'd had a good night. Now, with permission, they don't hide. They tell us things! Alan! Max! Abbie! Their friends doing the craziest things! Dancing and taking photos! An image came into my head. It was very clear. It was me, standing in front of a host of angels. (no, wait, that sounds biblical). A crowd of foot-tapping angels. They were looking up, as if waiting for Jimi Hendrix to appear on stage. But I appeared in front of them instead. I bowed, arms out. Thank you, homies. Thank you, gracias, thank you.