Yesterday TeenHer didn’t get off her bus. Yesterday I had my first “how long should we wait before calling the cops” moment. Don’t trivialize these moments, they’re important, Internet. How many people do you call to track her down? How far could a kidnapper get while we are phoning boyfriends and family members and getting the janitor to let us into the gym to search for her? What if, what if, what if. It’s the story of my life. I did not panic; I don’t panic much anymore. I am calm in a crisis and good with people in pain and I function best under pressure. I was Handling This. Outwardly. In my head, obviously I was watching a re-run of the 48 Hours I watched last weekend about the Molly Bish case and thinking about how close they would have been to finding her had they not spent so many hours debating whether or not she’d been abducted.
I decided to try the new house one more time-it would figure that the sheriff would get here and take my statement just as the child crossed the street, earphones in her ear, and reminded me that she was instructed (by me) to spend some time over there hanging out, maybe reading in what will be her new room. Like I said, how stupid do I want to look, and how much are we risking? So I walked across to look in the attic of the new house once more, not just call for her because hello, earphones? And then I heard the school bus. I sprinted back home and started my “where the hell have you been” speech. Can you believe I was met with hostility? When will I learn to stop accusing and fucking listen?
Whatever, she’s home, it was the bus driver’s fault (ha) who simply just forgot to let her off and then forced her to make the rest of the trip until she could be dropped off on the return route. Perhaps she “forgot” to stop because the child was sitting low in the seat with her knees propped against the seat in front of her? Who knows? Who cares? This time was just practice. I’m proud to say it would have been 50 minutes from when she should have been home till when I dialed she sheriff’s non-emergency number. Is 50 minutes too long? Oh, god.
And this is why I must stop watching TV.
And then she brought us her report card. Straight A’s. And so we decided to lift her lockdown just for one night this weekend so that she can attend a slumber party. We should have asked for more details, Internet. The slumber party? It’s a sweet 16 party. For an 8th grader. We told her, and this is probably the truth, that we will be doing surprise checks on this party. It’s not that I don’t trust the parents, readers. It’s just that the last time we picked her up at this kid’s house? I wondered why the mom was hugging her. Except now I realize that wasn’t the mom. This kid is not a kid and my kid is. If my mother read this blog, she would surely be hyperventilating with mirth right now.
I deserve this, I do. Yesterday, I reached another child’s mother on the phone. The woman said to me as if she really believes this is possible, “Well they both go to Dream Team (afterschool program) but they aren’t allowed to hang out because when those two are together they don’t stay focused.” You will be proud of me; I responded with silence and not “well your kid is doing her second tour of 7th grade and mine makes straight A’s, fuck your focus.”
Oh, wow, if ever there was a time when my blog would piss off the locals.