The clock inches slowly closer to 8:00 AM. Her starting time. 7:05. 7:15. 7:30. I return for the fourth time to wake Sophie up. To get her out of bed. God knows what time she went to sleep. It could have been 10:00, it could have been 2:00. I was out by 9:30.

But work starts at 8:00, and as the parent of a teen, it’s still my responsibility to help her get up. I’m sure many of you would say “Let her fail.” Or “If she’s old enough to have a job, she’s old enough to get there on her own.” I say this sometimes as well. But if I can be honest, the job wouldn’t have lasted long. Maybe a couple of weeks. Sophie wants to work. And I want her to work. It’s nice to share her expenses.

On occasion, I need to wake my wife up a couple of times, too. And when I was fourteen, my dad actually poured water on me to get me out of bed.

Sleepiness runs in the family.

Every Saturday morning, I’m the pest, the bad guy. That obnoxious, cheery, caffeinated dad who keeps saying “Get up! Get out of bed!” Sometimes I think that if Sophie would just get herself addicted to coffee, she’d get up on her own. I can’t wait to get out of bed and start in on a cup.

Sophie stomps out of the house at 7:55. Pissed at me, pissed at her employer, pissed at the children she may or may not watch during her shift. But four hours later, when she returns, she’ll be more mature, happier, more adult than any other time during the week.

A version of this post was previously published on and is republished here with permission from the author.


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