By Jess Row | The New Yorker
So many of the worst nightmares of parenting start with a phone call: a child out of arm’s reach, not in the house, not in her bed. Or, in this case, a text on a rainy night from my daughter to my wife, who then relayed a command to me: go pick her up now. Instead of taking the subway to the Upper West Side, as I would have any other night, I got into my car and dashed up the West Side Highway. My daughter is in middle school; this was the first time she’d ever been to a nighttime party, at the house of a friend from school. A parent would be at home the whole time, we’d been told. How bad could it be?
“There was a boy making jokes about rape,” my daughter said, five minutes later, in the passenger seat. “We told him to shut the fuck up, but he wouldn’t, and my friend’s mom told her to try to work it out herself, which was completely unfair, and everyone was crying, and I just got tired of it, and I have a headache. That’s why I texted Mom.”