Thursday, May 20, 2010

He's home

As I had mentioned, my 7th-grade son went on a school field trip to West Virgina for a week.  He left last Thursday morning after the bus driver packed that bus in very creative ways.  There wasn't a nook or cranny left free of stuff -- suitcases, duffel bags, sleeping bags, garbage bags, pillows, backpacks, and snacks, snacks, snacks.

He boarded the bus at about 8:15 a.m., and that's the last I heard from him until 6:15 p.m. yesterday, a week later.  Not.  One.  Word.  No text message, no phone call.  Nothing went up on the class's website.  Every time I refreshed the page, thinking that this time, surely this time, we'd have an update, I got the same frustrating words:

WOW - it's almost time to board the bus to WV - is everyone ready???  Just a few reminders: 
  • If you are bringing your child to school Thursday, come in early (by 6:45AM) or wait until after the buses clear the front parking lot (7:15AM)
  • Luggage can...
Twice during the week he was gone I cravenly contacted another parent to get any information:  Had they arrived?  (Yes, and were headed off to bed at 9:00 that first night.)  Were they all OK?  (Yes, getting ready to head out the next morning for the second half of the field trip.)  These two tidbits had to sustain me.

At this time, I'd like to take a moment to point out that the "no news is good news" philosophy practiced by almost everyone who receives a paycheck from our local school system, especially those in the Department of Special Education, is comforting only when it's not your child.

Yesterday I had to attend a fundraiser and then head over to the monthly meeting of the Autism Spectrum Support Group.  In between, I popped home and found this message on my voice mail:

My son:  [muffled] They're not home.  Umm, they're not home.
Teacher:  They're not?  Oh.

Click.  Nothing else.  A frantic check of the Caller ID time stamp told me that he had called over half an hour earlier.  But from where?  The 301 bridge back into Maryland?  The first hub drop-off point?  His destination of the second hub?  My husband was no sooner in the door after I got that message than he was out again to go to the second hub to await our son's arrival.  In that flurry of arrival and departure, I got a text message from my son:  "At place."  Cursing the air blue didn't make the message any less cryptic.

I had just enough time before the Support Group meeting to pop into the hub's parking lot.  When I got there, my husband was shoving my son's enormous duffel bag into the trunk, and my son was already in the car.  I pulled up, tapped on the glass, and mouthed for him to get out.  He mimed to me that he was already buckled.  I mouthed back that he needed to get out of that car right that minute and give his mother a hug or he was in deep doo-doos.  He got out.  And up.  And up some more.  The boy left last week looking me dead in the eye and returned an inch taller than his mother.

I sent him home with his father to have dinner and a shower and to go to bed early.  The hug, such as it was, was really all I needed.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Are you going to address the lack of communication or just chalk it up to, "What'd I expect?"