NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo 2009: Story Two

NaNoWriMo 2009 Project

(Click on graphic to read story – WARNING: Rated PG-13 for brief language. Hey, this is MILD compared to the last story).

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Life

I Lost My Kid

We lost Dude this weekend.

Well, briefly.

Saturday, we went driving. He’s really been wracking up the practice and he’s really turning into a good driver. He still has problems checking his mirrors and looking for traffic, but we’re working on it.

If he can handle a stranger being in his car, then he should pass the driver’s test. We’ll see. I thought about taking him up to retake his test this coming Friday (the kids are out of school) but I’m not sure he’s quite ready, to be honest. I think he needs just a bit more practice.

Shortly after we got home, some friends of Dude’s stopped by. I’ve known one of the boys for a few years now, so I felt fairly comfortable with him.

They wanted to take Dude to the mall and hang out for a bit.

“Sure! Have a good time!” I said as I gave him some money and watched him take off with his two buds.

A few hours went by and I called him.

“Hey Dude, your dad and I want to go out for BBQ, do you want to come along or do you want to eat dinner with your friends?”

He said he would call me back.

Forty-five minutes later (Grr), I called him to ask him what the dealio was with dinner.

His buddy asked him to spend the night (which I knew would happen) and I said, “Sure! Why not.”

So, the guys dropped him back off at our house and he got his stuff ready while they ran to buy some energy drinks at Wal-Mart.

In the meantime, Kevin and I are starving, so we told Dude to lock up when his friends came back and picked him up and we’d see him in the morning.

And we took off.

We had a scrumptious dinner (we’re so going back there for my birthday dinner) and when we came home, we noticed that every shade in the house was open, the house was in view of God and the world because it was dusk and every light in the house was on, and the front door was standing wide open.

WTH?!

So yeah, Dude left the house wide open – little stinker. But quite honestly folks, I was so tickled that a few of his buddies wanted him to hang out, without parental supervision and to do something normal, like hang out at the mall, that I was willing to overlook the house situation. After all, this was Dude’s first time doing something like this and I knew he was excited about going out that well … he’s a teenage boy, what can I say.

Sunday morning, he calls about 8:00 ready to come home. The conversation went a little something like this:

“Hey mom. I’m ready to come home. D’s dad is going to bring me home, but I need directions to our house.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah. You don’t know where I am and …”

“Wait, what?”

“What do I tell him?”

The kid threw me for a loop. I thought he was going to D’s house, and he had, only he had gone to D’s DAD’S house, not his MOM’S (I didn’t even know they were divorced) and I had no idea where that was.

Swell.

I’ll be honest. I was thrown for a loop or I might have insisted on getting the man’s address and getting him myself, but instead, I said,

“Just tell him our address. Or better yet, tell him we live a few blocks from the firehouse on such-and-such street.”

“Okay. I’ll be home about nine.”

“Okay.”

And I freaking hang up!

I’m such a dork.

After the shock of him not being where I thought he was all night long, I tried to call Dude back to get more information, only when I tried to call Dude, all I got was the following message:

“I’m sorry. That number is temporarily unavailable.”

Okay, now my imagination takes off at warp speed. I don’t know where the kid is, I can’t reach him on his cell phone, which means, he must be out of the area in the BOONIES somewhere with D’s dad, whom I don’t know!

PANIC!!

I’m trying hard not to freak out and I try Dude’s cell phone several more times. Same message.

So, I sit and think about why his cell phone is giving me that message. If he was out of the area, wouldn’t it just go straight to voice mail? Something was fishy.

So, I signed onto his account online only to see, he had run out of time and his balance was $0.10. I thought I had set up the automatic top-up feature but apparently?

No.

Parenting FAIL!

So, I quickly put more money on it (setting up the auto top-up feature, too), and Kevin called him.

He picked up.

Kevin got the guy’s address, we Map Quest it (he wasn’t that far, NOT in the boonies like I had envisioned) and he went to pick him up.

It all ended well, but we all learned a lesson – we need to ask more questions before saying yes next time. Dude needs to tell us if he ends up somewhere different than where we thought he was going and to make sure the house is locked up if he’s the last to leave.

I’m very proud of myself. I did not lose my temper, I did not freak out and it was mainly because I didn’t want to spook Dude from doing something like this again. This was the first time he took the initiative and wanted to do something with his friends and I was thrilled. I don’t want to stunt his independence because I freaked out over something that I should have straightened out to begin with.

At any rate, I’m pretty sure I lost a year of my life this past weekend by not knowing where he was at or how to get a hold of him.

Lesson learned.


Jazz’s band had their last marching competition of the season Saturday.

We dropped Jazz off at the school at 9:00 and they took off for Columbia at 9:30.

They performed at Mizzou’s Champion of Champions competition and I’m proud to report that they came in SECOND!! Jazz said that that was by far the best they’ve ever performed.

I can’t believe the phenomenal season the kids have had. I’m REALLY looking forward to another season next year and I can’t wait to see what kind of program the band director comes up with!

I’m not sure what happens in band now that marching is over. I’ve heard the kids go on to concert and if that’s the case, Jazz will switch out his gold sax for his black sax – and he’s really looking forward to using it again.

Next semester, he’ll be in Jazz band, so I’m sure there will be performances for that, too.

Thanks for sticking it out with me as I chronicle our experiences. It’s been amazing and I know it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience for Jazz, who can’t wait to do it all over again next year!