Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm the Mom Who Cried Wolf.

I've got a really good excuse though.  You see??  I'm at work??  Yeah-and my daughter calls but I don't answer because I have people in the store and I can call her back.  So my daughter sends me a text.  But I don't look at it because I have people in the store and I can text her back.  So the people leave.  And I read the text which indicates she can't find her brother.  The brother I left in front of the tv when I left for work.  And so I call her back.  And she doesn't answer.  And so I text her back.  And get no text in response.  I call the house phone.  No answer.  I call the neighbor to check on them.  And she says she will as soon as she drives the 30 miles back to her house from her current location.  So I call and text and call and text and call and text a few million more times.  All with no response. 

Those of you who know me on a personal level (like you help me keep the bones polished on the skeletons in the closet) know I don't go to the emergency room for a hangnail.  So you know the bowel loosening panic I was in when I finally broke down and called...thepolicetogocheckonmykidsbecauseIwasscaredoutofmymind.  In my head I knew everything was probably fine.  In my gut I knew I was probably overreacting a wee bit to the fact that both my children seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth.  {Now would be a good time to remind everyone that one of said children is a female teenager who is capable of texting in her sleep and whose phone may have actually fused to her hand and her children will most probably be born with communication devices already imbedded in them} some elemental soul ripping portion of my being I was already feeling the mind numbing panic and grief of a parent of missing children.  I was putting up flyers and doing press conferences pleading for their return. So I called the Grand Blanc Township Police Department and asked for them to send an officer by to check on my children.  I apologized.  I said it was probably nothing.  I mentioned I was concerned.  My husband called me while I was on the phone with the dispatcher and I fairly calmly shouted at him that I was on the phone with the police trying to ensure our missing children were ok and "I WOULD CALL HIM BACK IN JUST ONE DAMN MINUTE".  But it actually is pretty much a bit of a blur.  I heard the dispatcher sending a car to our address to check on "an 18 year old female subject and 8 year old male subject".  After getting off the phone I waited to find out what was going on with my kids.  I called my husband who shared with me the same bowel loosening panic so I didn't feel so alone.  The dispatcher called back when I had a store full of customers to ask for a physical description of my son.  OH MY GOD....I instantly pictured him floating in a pond, flattened in the road, stuck in a garbage can, abandoned in the woods.  And I tried not to panic because I had a store full of customers.  I didn't even ask if they had found him.  I froze.  I couldn't ask.  I focused on his hair.  On his recently cut hair and his inch long curly tail that I make him keep because he has such beautiful curly blond hair.  And I hung up.  Without knowing if they had found my son. Because if he was fine they would have told me.  But they asked for his physical description which meant he wasn't fine and beyond that I didn't want to know.  They asked for a physical description of my son.  If he was in my house and if his sister were available they would not need a physical description of my son.  And I couldn't bear to hear why they would ask for one.

There is a part of me that knew all along that my kids were probably just fine.  I knew that this was simply some stupid little thing and that my kids were perfectly ok.  On an intellectual level I knew as soon as I made the phone call that it was going to be something supremely stupid and we would laugh about it someday down the road.  But there was a part of me that also knew that if...if I didn't make that phone call and have them checked that this would be the one time that there was really something very, very wrong and I would live to regret it for the rest of my empty and worthless life. 

So in the Perfect Storm of mis-communication it turns out that my son was in the basement hiding.  My daughter assumed when she didn't hear back from me immediately that I had her brother with me.  She had left her phone upstairs when she went to get her breakfast so didn't hear my calls or see my texts.  She had just discovered her brother in the basement when she came upstairs to discover a police officer at the door thus inducing her own bowl loosening moment when she (unaware that she and her brother were missing) assumed that a cop at the door meant someone was dead  and knew it had to be me or her dad (so ok-maybe we are a family that overreacts a touch).  She called me to let me know that they were ok at which point I completely lost it.  And we quickly determined no one was in trouble for anything since no one had actually done anything wrong.

I've been a mom for 18 years.  And in 18 years there have been some pretty scary moments.  I can't tell you why this particular moment on this particular day struck in this particular way.  I do know that I am ever grateful to Grand Blanc Township Police for ensuring that my children were safe.  I'm sure they deal with things like this on a daily basis.  This is a first for me.  Hopefully also a last.  I can't even begin to imagine the possibility of something really happening to one or both of my children.  I have learned through this I will not handle it well.  I will panic.  I will fall apart.  I will act and react stupidly and inappropriately.  And this may be something we laugh about someday down the road but from where I sit it is going to be a long long way down that road.  My heart breaks for the people who make the phone call I made today and never get the "it's ok" call back.  Lucky for me all is currently well in Book Ladi land.