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12:42 p.m. - 2009-12-17
Just my luck.

A Wolf and Mom story.

After much discussion over the weekend it was decided that I would no longer be waiting outside for Wolf to get off the bus after school. He's in the 7th grade, fer Pete's sake! When I was in the 7th grade I'd already been babysitting other people's kids for 2 years. Surely my child is well able to get himself off the bus and into the house without me there to supervise. Deal is he's supposed to come directly inside and find me to say hello. All good, right? The bus driver was told about Sentry Mom not being there anymore, but assured someone would always be home and it was okay to deposit the kid. Okey-doke.

Monday I was coming down the stairs as Wolf got off the bus thus he was visible through the stairwell window. I knocked on the glass and waved. No biggie. Sort of a hovering mom thing, but quite accidental on my part me being in the stairwell at that time. (Freud would claim different, but he can go suck on his cigar.)

Tuesday I made sure to be here at my desk at the usual drop-off time. The boy would be fine. He's dropped at the foot of the driveway, what could go wrong? Now I thought I heard the bus, but it's hard to tell from here in my little sealed up monk's cell on the back of the house. So I waited. And waited. And waited. No Wolf. Aggravated I got my butt up and went into the front of the house ready to chide my kid for not following through and coming to tell me he was home. Silence. No TV, no kid sprawled on the living room floor. I called, maybe he'd gone upstairs. Silence. I looked on the porch, no backpack, no sneakers. Weird. Checked the clock. It was well past when his bus was supposed to have been here. I futzed around on the porch straightening the coats and had a chat with the dog. No bus. No kid. Checked the clock. 15 minutes past due. I opened the door and stuck my head out. The road is dead empty. I wait. And wait. By now my stomach's in knots and the fear is growing. 20 minutes. The fear gets bigger.

The storywriter in my head starts up. In her world-weary hack's voice she tells me Wolf HAD gotten off the bus and had been snatched. The bus driver is in cahoots with a child prostitution ring and told the kidnappers I wouldn't be there to catch them when they chloroformed my kid and stuffed him into their seedy van. 25 minutes. By now I'm weeping and shaking and half-convinced the paranoid scenario spooled out by my miserable muse is true. I daren't leave my post at the front door to go grab my phone to call the bus garage (and 911), if somehow Wolf hadn't been kidnapped already then it would happen soon as I turned my back. The evil bus driver, the seedy white slaver van. Just waiting for the right moment to prove what a shit mother I am. Because of course the very first time I took my eyes off my kid something terrible would happen! Do I not know my own history? Haven't I been smacked down over and over? Proven time and again that the tiniest lapse of vigilance on my part always means bad things happen to my kid?

By this time I'm nearly shitting my pants and puking from the combination of guilt, grief, fear and shame. My child is gone and I hadn't been watching!!!!! Every episode of L&O SVU thudded through my brain at warp speed. Elliot and Olivia would be here any second. Ice-T would be with them and I'd be so damned in his eyes for being such a rotten mother I wouldn't dare tell him how oddly sexy his lisp is to me.

30 minutes. A nightmare endless half hour.

Then finally, impossibly………….. the bus.

Wailing with relief, the tears and snot freezing on my face I watch as the bus passes by to do its U-turn at the end of the road. 3 minutes later my son is climbing down off the bus and the bus monitor is waving and calling apologies for being late.

And who was waiting in the open front door yesterday at 3:20? And who will be there again today and every school day to follow until my kid graduates from high school, possibly even college?

You know it, honey.

Lesson learned. ~LA

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