Uni Night – Fun for all, Especially Your Mother
The car glided over the intersection at the top of the hill, the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean sparkling in the early morning sunlight was breathtaking. Driving at that hour of the morning could almost be considered a privilege. Streets usually congested with traffic, resemble airport runways, no stress, no road rage, time to think. Time to be thankful for my home on the Sunshine Coast.
You may be thinking that this all sounds lovely but what’s the purpose of all this driving, could it be only for pleasure? Not likely with petrol prices the way they are. The question can be answered in five words – Uni night at the Tavern. If you’ve never had children between the age of 18 and 23 you may never have realised the iconic signifigance of this type of event, it’s a rite of passage thing.
Then you get in the one o’clock in the morning phone call.
“Mum can you come and pick us up” said the voice of my beloved son on the other end of the phone.
“No I told you I’m not going to pick you up when you go to the Tavern. You choose to go to that place, you get yourself home” said I in my best strong mum voice, all the while picturing my boy standing shivering on a lonely, wind swept Burnett Street.
“You’ve got to pick me up, someone head butted me and I’ve got a fat lip and the bouncers kicked us out.”
I was up the hill in seven minutes flat, pulling up in the Woolies driveway. I can hear your voice of judgement right now as I write. The voice of accusation that says “you push over”. How could my son ever be at fault. I have no words of justification other than he’s my son.
The seathing monster that lives deep inside every mother, the one that lurks and waits, ready to spring to the defence of your six foot, broad shouldered, eighteen year old son, because no one can protect him like you, was desperately fighting for release. I sat there eyeballing the bouncers standing outside while two boys walked toward the car. Then I realised that the boys walking toward me weren’t my son and his friend and that I’d driven straight passed them. They had been sitting quietly on the curb on the other side of the street. I’m sure I heard someone say “pshyco mother” as I drove away with my pride and joy safely belted into the passenger seat, with no real evidence of any fowl play. It did enter my mind that possibly the revving of the car I was sub counsciously doing, while directing all this protective energy at the bouncers, could have been badly misconstrued.
At least this weeks call came at a semi reasonable 5.30 am.
“Mum can you pick us up I’ve got to go to work.” says my boy.
“No, get someone else to take you to work” hissed I, mother of the year.
“There’s no one else to take me, come on Mum” pleaded my son.
Pulling the car over to the side of the road at an uncertain address, I thought about how many ways a mother sacrifices for her children. Sleep, no matter how old they are. Money, no matter how old they are. Time, it is never your own. Sitting there honking the horn and muttering to myself something about this being the last time, even I didn’t believe it.