Monday, September 20, 2010

A Word to Parents of College Students

I don’t normally keep my cell phone by my bed.

(Do you?)

But for one night last week I did, for lots of reasons.

Because we live in a flood zone.

And because we have a generator which is supposed to keep all the critical elements of our basement (like sump pumps) running when we flood, but which has been a little bit finicky lately.

And because one day last week our power went out for an hour on a nice, warm, blue-sky September day.

Go figure.

And because B was out of town.

And because B was out of town and since he’s the keeper of the alarm clock and I have no earthly clue how to set the correct time on his alarm clock which got messed up when the power went out and because I needed to be awake at 6:00 a.m. on the next morning . . . I slept with my cell phone next to the bed.

Can I just tell all you parents of college students, either currently or in the future, DON’T SLEEP WITH YOUR CELL PHONE BY THE BED.

Whatever it is can wait until morning.

Because on that particular night last week when the power went out and B was out of town and I didn’t know how to set the time on his alarm clock and my cell phone became my only source of time or alarm, my little text message alert went off.

At 1:22.

In the morning.

And in the 0.86 seconds it took to reach my cell phone to see who was texting me in the middle of the night I thought of about a thousand different ways my college student could be in trouble.

Maybe she had gotten into an accident.

Maybe she was deathly ill.

Maybe she had broken her leg in some freak human pyramid the kids were building in the dorm lobby.

Maybe she was just sick of all the socializing and needed to vent.

I couldn’t possibly imagine why my college student (of course it had to be her because WHO ELSE would text me in the middle of the night?!) would need me.

At 1:22.


Want to know the nature of the emergency? I know you do.

I’ll let her tell you in her own words.

“Mommy can you bring me earplugs tomorrow?”

Sure, honey, I’ll bring you earplugs.

I'll be there at 1:22.




  1. She would have forgotten if she waited to text you in the morning! :) I don't normally sleep with my phone next to me either because my sister will send 1am texts too. I'm just not in that late-night stage of life anymore.

  2. Ah, Mrs. W., but you will be again soon!! Maybe then you'll be sending 1 a.m. texts again. :)

  3. You need to get an alarm clock like mine that automatically sets itself to the right time even in a power outage because it has a battery back up and it atomically controlled.

    And I've gotten actual phone calls on our house phone at that hour of the morning from our clueless son. "Oh, hi mom. What are you doing?"

  4. Tell your lovely daughter of my trick at college - slept on the cot in the storage room most nights, very dark and very quiet. ;-)

  5. I have had some ? lately about cell phones, teenagers, 21 year-olds and myself. How do they sleep with a cell phone? Do they have it silenced? When would they get my message if I had an emergency? I have finally come to the conclusion they are not "mamas". I have the land line and the cell phone by my bed and neither are turned off, because they might need something. But, to text me when you go to bed @ whatever hours of the night, means I don't get it the next morning ~ I read it immediately. (for emergency sakes) I still don't know how they sleep or how I would contact them. Thanks for letting me share.

  6. Sheroll, I will tell her. Wonder if she knows where that is! :)

    Jenny, you have no idea . . . SHE is a crack up! :)

  7. Ha ha! You KNOW that bringing her the earplugs at 1:00 in the morning is not pay back, right? She will still be up... :)-

  8. LOL. This sounds soooo familiar. When I turn my phone on in the morning I get texts from my daughter that I notice were sent at all sorts of insane hours.

    Jodi took the words right out of my mouth. What you need to do is take her the earphones at 7 a.m. LOL.