Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Long-Overdue Apology to My Mother

I am so very sorry that I went to Johnny Naioti's house straight from the bus stop that one day in first or second grade (I forget when).


I'm sure I apologized twenty-odd years ago, but that was probably either before or after a spanking, and while I meant it, I didn't quite understand.

I do now.

My only consolation is that (a) I'm quite sure Mrs. Naioti called you right away when I showed up at her house (if I remember right, she did), and (b) you actually knew most of our neighbors then, and would have been able to make an educated guess as to where I went...and track me down.  If you were able to think clearly enough in that kind of a panic, not knowing exactly where your child is, because she's not where she's supposed to be.  I remember thinking how unfair it was that I had to stay in my own yard and couldn't go play with my friends that afternoon.  I can't imagine how I didn't end up locked in my room instead.  Confinement to the yard, while just awful for me, doesn't seem quite enough from my perspective now.  It was the right punishment, and did get the message across, because I never did it again.

But I have to say, it seems to pale in comparison to the panicked reaction you must have had.

I do not know many of our neighbors here, which was a terrifying reality when it hit me this afternoon that I'd heard the bus come to the stop right outside our house, I'd heard kids get off the bus, and yet...Large Fry still had not come into the house, when she certainly should have by then.

I went outside and looked to see if something else had caught Large's attention, or if she was playing outside, or if she was just dawdling on the sidewalk.


I sent Hubby a text message, and he called back immediately.  It would be okay, he soothed, pointing out that she'd probably fallen asleep on the bus--it's happened before--and didn't get off.  I stood on the sidewalk by the street, looking bereft and feeling absolutely terrified, while he called the school.

Five VERY long minutes later, a bus that was not Large Fry's stopped at the corner...and Large Fry skipped out.

I managed not to start bawling.

She skipped happily across the street and bounded up on the porch, where I had gone to sit when my knees said they could no longer hold me upright, telling me that she'd gotten on the wrong bus and had fallen asleep and that was why it took her so long.

Just as she reached the porch, my phone rang; it was Hubby calling back.  It took a few tries to actually get connected since my fingers were shaking and not wanting to obey simple brain commands, but I told him she was home.  He said the regular bus driver wasn't driving this afternoon; it was a sub, and Large had fallen asleep on the bus and they were routing her back to the school.

Between what he was told by the school and what Large had related to me, we figured that she feel asleep on the school bus, and either her bus was just a different one today or she was taken back to the school and popped on another bus, which brought her home.

I have not yet broken down into a blubbering idiot, and I'm still waiting for my heart rate to feel like it's actually slowed down from panicked-mommy mode, but at least I know that--this time--Large didn't do anything wrong.

And I'll make sure I know our neighbors well when we move.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes, I too would have freaked!!
    So glad everything worked out!


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