In another era of my life, if the doorbell rang late at night it was because something bad had happened. A friend was in trouble, we were throwing a party that was too much noise, a neighbor needed help. Nothing good came to my door at midnight, or at least not often.
These days it’s just a girl who can’t be bothered to dig her keys out of her purse, so it’s a happy sound. Even if I have to roust myself out of a cocoon on the couch to go answer the door, I don’t mind. It means that she is home safely and I can go to sleep soon. Curfew met, a quick hug at the door, a minute to see how her evening went, and a bit of tranquility in the part of my mind that didn’t forget she was out on her own.
When the older girls are out together it’s a mixed feeling. One one hand, I know they are there to look out for one another. On the other hand, they are on the road in one car, and what happens to one happens to both. When they tumble through the door together, laughing over some small thing, it’s an excellent sound that brings a secret smile to my lips.
I may not be actively thinking of them when they are out, but I certainly feel a release of tension when all my chicks are in the nest for the night. The roost, like my heart, is full.