Kids just do not understand the stress they cause parents.
I know a lot of times they do not do it on purpose, but they cause grief nonetheless.
Sunday, my daughter, Claire, and her friends took off for Council Bluffs, Iowa, for an outdoor concert.
Not exactly four-days at Woodstock — thankfully — but it turned out to be a pretty long day.
Of course, anytime your children travel any distance in a vehicle, it is reason to be concerned. You worry about their driving and the driving of other motorists, and the fact it would take you a couple of hours to get to them in case of an emergency.
The day was pretty uneventful, since the rest of the family was at home, busy doing other things and daylight just seems safer.
But around bedtime, I started to calculate how long it would take the bands to play. The concert started at 2 p.m., and taking into account concerts never start on time, each band has to tear down and assemble its own stage and adding in some time just because, I figured the show should end around midnight.
Sometime after 10 p.m. the concert was nearing its end, and if my time estimates were in the ballpark, midnight looked to be about right.
After 11 p.m., my son, Alek, got a text message from Claire that traffic was a mess and she thought it would be an hour before they even got out of the parking lot.
That meant they would get home later than I thought, but not too bad.
Of course, Sunday night is when my insomnia is at its worst, and with Claire not home, I had nothing to do but think bad thoughts and listen to the stupid ceiling fan click and wonder how my wife could sleep.
Turns out she couldn't.
It was between 1:30 and 2 a.m. when she called Claire to find out they were just leaving Omaha. Traffic was worse than Claire had calculated, and it took more than two hours to get going.
My wife decided to go downstairs and lie on the couch and not sleep, and I stayed awake upstairs listening to the dog snore while the cat decided to make her bed on my feet.
I was dozing in and out of sleep when I heard Claire come home after 3 a.m. — two hours before I had to get up for work.
Make that an hour and 45 minutes because my wife woke me up to tell me to fix the ceiling fan because it was keeping her awake.
Nothing like waking up to an angry wife who had lost as much sleep as I did.
I shut it off, rolled out of bed and started my day.
I don't expect kids to stay home, and I certainly don't expect them to live their lives based on whether they will worry Mom and Dad.
Kids do not live like that. I remember spending the day away from home one day, just hanging out with friends. I thought I had done a great job of telling my Mom where I was going all day, only to get home and find out Mom was upset because I forgot to report my last trip.
But Sunday night into Monday morning's excursion by Claire tells me it all catches up with you someday.
That means someday, in the distant future, my daughter will toss and turn waiting for her child to get home. And if there's any justice, the ceiling fan will squeak all night.
Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is the former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.