Turns out, I'm not 100% ready to let go.
The Child is going to compete in gymnastics this year. She's never done it before but she's all inspired to learn, which is awesome. Except that there is no activities bus (unless you play football. WHY IS THAT?) so either she needs to chill at school until I can pick her up or she can take the bus up to meet me at work. The bus up to work plan seemed reasonable and I even had a bus ticket. She knew what bus to take, how to get a transfer, where to catch her connecting bus, etc. etc. I figured it would maybe take her 40 minutes to an hour to get to me...let's say 5pm. That's only an extra 30 minutes of hanging at the office and lord knows there is always something to do.
Did I mention that her cell phone was stolen at the Homecoming dance and hasn't been replaced yet (because the insurance people need a police report number. Seriously. Like the police are going to investigate a stolen cell phone. Remind me next time...even if it IS stolen...to tell the insurance people it's just plain lost. Thank you).
I was pretty busy at work so I barely thought about her arrival until close to 5 o'clock. At which point there was no Child. Fine. I wasn't sure of the exact times for the bus plus who knows if she actually got out on the dot of 4. I did kinda wish she had her phone so I could check on her progress but really, it's fine.
5:15, I shake off the little ripples of nervousness. Hello? She's nearly 15. She's a big girl. She knows how to ride a bus. More importantly, she knows how to sit near the driver, listen to her iPod
and ignore anyone creepy while on a bus. I look outside. It's dark and lashing rain. I hope that she is
on a bus and not shivering at a bus stop.
5:30. MAB stops in, taking a break from the board meeting. "She still not here?"
"No, and it's kinda making me nervous".
"She's fine. Geez
, she's 15".
"14. You know what I was doing when I
"As a matter of fact, I do, and those stories aren't going to be helpful right now".
"Oh, yeah. You're probably right".
MAB went back to her meeting, I went back to the computer to look up bus schedules and try to figure out where my baby was. Stupid bus schedules. They are never very detailed, are they? The times for one stop will be listed and the next stop is 412 blocks away or something, with you left trying to divine if the stop you care about is before, in the middle or after stops A and B. (Which was part of my issue because I really don't know anything about the burg wherein High School is located. I know how to get there and that's that).
I call The Spouse to see if he's heard from her or seen her (maybe she selfishly got a ride home and totally spaced calling to tell me. In which case I'll be pissed but relieved). No Child.
I look outside again. It's darker and wetter than before. And something twisted inside me and I was full on worried. Where was
she? How in the world did parents (like mine) let their kids out into the world without cell phones? That's what's bugging me. I let her out of my sight all day but the assumption is she is at school or on the school bus and I have faith that she's OK
. But being in that in-between place of not knowing where she is and not being able to call her that is freaking me out. That and the fact that they have late start on Wednesday so I was out of the house before she was and have no idea what she wore to school so how the hell will I be able to give the detectives a description? (Because, obviously, at this point I assume detectives are going to be involved).
At 6pm the house door bell rang and the security camera shot me a picture of this wretched, bedraggled teenager. Poor kid had missed the first bus and the next one didn't come until 5. 5
I tell you. She stood for an hour in the cold and dark and rain waiting for the bus. (She couldn't go back to school and call because apparently the doors are locked from the outside after 4 or something).
Needless to say, I was thrilled to see her and I told her that the whole riding-the-bus-in-winter-without-a-cell-phone thing was off. Until her new phone shows up I'll be schlepping down to get her. (Not to mention if I'd done that in the first place we would have been home a good 45 minutes sooner than we were).
Yeah, I am ready to let her out into the world on her own. Provided I have a long enough leash.
Labels: parenting, The Child