Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Neurotic Post

I have had two neurotic episodes in the past week. Maybe I overreacted, maybe I didn't--I'm not sure! You be the judge...

The first one was towards the end of last week. Andy is in high school now and he takes a bus over to the school every morning. We learned the hard way that he has to get a much earlier bus than we originally expected in order to get there on time--so last week he was dragging his heels and I was begging him to get out the door so he would make it in time.

He called me a few minutes later saying that he had, in fact, missed the bus and said something dumb like "How long would it take to walk?" (oh about AN HOUR). But I said that he would just have to wait for the next bus and risk being late because there was no way I could drive him--I had to get all the other kids to school.

I called him on his cell a few minutes later to make sure he got the bus. No answer. I HATE it when I can't reach my kids on their cell phones. The feeling of turning them loose into the world is bad enough--but when that lifeline of a phone is severed, I feel helpless.

Let me also mention that I might be known as an "overprotective" mom. I'm also a worrier.

So anyway, he wasn't answering and I kept calling. Surely he must be on the bus by now? I kept thinking. I knew that once he got to school he would turn the phone off, but he would have it on now!!

So I kept calling. And texting. Stuff like "Andy--text me back the second you get this." and "Where ARE you???"

Then I started leaving messages. First they were semi-rational, but they soon spiraled onto stuff like "Call me back right now or I'm CALLING THE POLICE!!"

I heard nothing back. By now, I had taken the other kids to school and I was completely hysterical. I kept thinking about when he called and asked how long it would take to walk. Did he try to walk? Then I thought ohmygod--what if someone offered him a ride (it was raining) and now someone has abducted him and taken his cell phone.

Did I mention I'm neurotic?

Finally, a good 45 minutes had gone by since Andy's call and I called my husband at work. I tried really hard not to involve him because he's more neurotic than I am--but I couldn't control myself.

I begged him (I was full-out sobbing at this point) to call Andy's advisor and see if he was at school.

Don called and Andy was there and everything was fine. I guess he had turned his phone off on the bus. (?) Of course, I felt stupid, but it's amazing how quickly my imagination can run away with bizarre scenarios when my kids' safety is involved.

Neurotic Episode Number Two:

Today. After school--waiting for kids to come home. Patrick comes home, Andy comes home. No sign of Teddy. I'm waiting, waiting. It's about 15 minutes since he should have been home and I start calling his cell. It goes straight into voicemail. I wait another 15 minutes and start to feel panicky.

Teddy plays football (though it wasn't scheduled today) but I tell Andy to go check the football field and call me from there. He calls and says no one is on the football field and he's going to check the school.

Meanwhile--Teddy's cell keeps gong into voicemail.

I decide to go over to the school and search. Maybe he got caught up in a project and forgot to call?

Let me also interject that my kids are VERY good about calling to tell me their every move. They know I how I worry, so they always let me know what they're up to.

So I get to the school office--I'm still reasonably calm--and they page him to come to the office. Meanwhile, Andy and some other people are searching the school and a couple ladies from the office offer up some places to check.

The science lab? No.

Computer lab? No.

Gym? No.

I continue to call his cell--voicemail. I check to see if he's returned home--no.

By now, it's been an HOUR since he should have been home. The office starts calling homes of his friends. Finally, they suggest calling the police.

Now I am in a full-blown panic. I can feel it take hold, wrapping around me like a snake squeezing. All sanity is gone--I can't even think straight.

"What was he wearing?" the policeman asks.

My mind is blank. What was he wearing? I could hear this rushing water sound in my head.

I'm talking to a policeman because Teddy is missing.

"A blue shirt and tan shorts," I blurt out finally. The policeman tells me they will start to look.

Meanwhile, a friend of mine shows up and she goes off to look. A couple of calls come into the office offering more places to check. There is word that the football team might be meeting at a club down the street. I leave to go check and Andy calls me on the cell--he has found Teddy.

Turns out the stupid football team was having a meeting at some dumb location. And Teddy's cell phone was out of batteries. And he thought he told me he was going to stay after school. HE DIDN'T!!!!

So there you have my "highlights" of this past week. I can physically feel the years that have been taken off my life by this. In fact, I can hear the Grim Reaper laughing as he tears off page after page on his calendar of my life.

And my kids haven't even started driving yet. I need to chill way out.

******Also, I want to give a big thank you to Ronda of Ronda's Rants for sending me a beautiful coffee mug. It arrived today--definitely the highlight of the day!-- it's so fun to get a surprise in the mail! My kids have been oohing and ahhing over what a great mug it is--nice and big-- and with the coolest pearly finish. It has a great quote about "peace" on it. I know I will enjoy drinking my coffee in it! Thank you Ronda!!!!



Ronda's Rants said...

Well..if I remember the quote correctly ...Peace is not with problems but that you will feel calm in your heart! I wish it meant you wouldn't have problems...I am sorry and I can so relate! My oldest is 28 and went for a 8 mile run and was missing for an hour...he just took a wrong turn on a path and ended up running for 20 miles. No cell phone! His wife and I were a mess!
I am very sorry!

Shannon said...

Oh, I hear you! Even if I just lose sight of one my girls for a second, that panic starts to set in.

P.S. Love the new profile pic ;)

Stephanie, Phil, Kayla, Logan & Alex said...

I'm sure that's going to be me in a few more years!

Jo-Jo said...

Oh my! I would have reacted the same way, expessially with the football incident. I can so totally see that happening to me!

Dee said...

oh! I was in a panic just reading this. You are not neurotic - it shows how much you love and care for your kids. I can relate to the sound of rushing water in your head - very accurate description, I have had it a lot even though my girls are only little.

Lori said...

My pulse rate actually increased as I read this post. I am SO with you! Mine are too little to carry cell phones, and when they are old enough, I don't know whether I'm going to get them some or not. I think not being able to reach them because they don't have a phone would be less terrifying than not being able to reach them when THEY SHOULD BE ANSWERING!

Maybe I'll make them all my pet babies. ;)

Kori said...

Oh finally someone that worries more than me. lol

Sue Wilkey said...

OMG I would have been right there with you - cursing myself for not having GPS chips implanted in their teeth.

Anonymous said...

I'm a worrier too....so I would have had total meltdowns!!! Not fair you had to have that happen to you twice so close together!!!

You're not overreacting though...at least in my opinion....it just means you love them.... A LOT!!!! :)

Take care and go have some coffee in your new cup and relax!!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG I would have already slit my wrists, that's terrifying.

I'm glad all turned out well!

KWolfAK said...

I have something for you. Stop by my blog and pick it up!

CaraBee said...

My child is still way too young for me to encounter any situations like this, but I suspect I will be the same way. Meanwhile when I was a kid, there were no cell phones and we basically ran around the neighborhood for hours and no one knew where we were or what we were doing. How did our parents not go crazy? Different times, I guess.

Kelly said...

I don't know about neurotic...my stomach was in knots just reading about these 2 incidents!! I think I would have been acting the same way, but blubbering like an idiot on top of it!!

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...

You are not alone. I haven't had to call the police YET, but I have left my job to fly across town, had the neighbors searching, etc.
It's not easy being us, is it?

Jennifer said...

I'm glad to know I'm not alone!! I don't know if the cell phones makes it easier or harder. I ran wild when I was my kids' ages--I don't know how my mom coped!

I'm happy I'm not the only worrier around!

Unknown said...

No, you're not neurotic, you're just being a Mum. You're just being someone who loves and cres about her kids...

My daughter got hit by a car, years ago. It happened right in front of me. For ages afterwards, if I heard an ambulance, I'd have to go and check on her. The kids begged to be able to walk to school. I let them, but would follow discreetly behind.

It's all about letting them have their freedom and keeping them safe and not losing your mind at the same time!! :-)

Brittany said...

I had a panic attack for you reading this.

Anonymous said...

I would do the same. My kids aren't old enough to go on their own, yet, but I'm already freaked out just thinking about it.