Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Domino Effect

I think that we have all been there. That is, we have said something or done something that set off a chain reaction which ultimately involved a lot of other people. Here's what happened to me -

1. My 20-year-old son went out after work. At 1:15am, he sent a text to his father saying he would be home in 15 minutes. His dad usually waits up for him and given that it was -30ÂșC outside, you would want to make sure that people didn't end up passed out in snow banks.

2. It's now 2:30am and he isn't home, nor is he answering his phone. He has done this before. I thought, he'll be home soon.

3. It's now 3:30am. His dad, who has a cold, is still up and has to work the next day. I get up and commiserate. I am now worried. His dad takes a tour of the neighbourhood in the car. No sign of him. We are both worried. We go back to bed, but can't sleep.

4. At 4:30am, I announce that I am going to call the police. I have dwelt on the worst case scenario for the last hour - son mugged, wallet and IPone taken, left in snow bank to freeze.

I find our list of "important numbers" and call the one marked "police." A woman who is clearly not at a police station answers. I say, "Hello, is this the police?" She says, concerned, "no." I apologize profusely and hang up, wondering who on earth I had called. I find another list with the correct number for the police. They are very helpful. In the politest terms, they say that there have been no dead bodies in snow banks reported. Would I like to file a missing person's report? "No," I say, I'll wait until morning.

5. At 5:00am, we suddenly get a text from the youngest. "Sorry fallen asleep at Ryan's house on my way home." His dad calls him. "Where are you?" He doesn't know. We hear him, crunching over the ice and snow until he gets to a sign post and reads out the street names. He's close to home. Relieved, his dad drives over and picks him up.

6. 5:30am, our son is safely home. All worry and angst on my part has turned to RAGE!! I decide not to disturb the house at this moment. I'll save it for 7:30am, when the son in question has to get up for work, as we all do, except my daughter.

House of Cards

7. I do, though, remind the prodigal of the cardinal rule of the house -  if you are out partying or even accidentally sleeping all night, you go to work the next day - no excuses.

8. 7:30am, I wake the boy for work. He protests. I argue back.

9. 8:00am, I wake him again; inform him, louder this time, that he has to leave for work in half an hour and no one is going to drive him - a screaming match ensues. It wakes my daughter, who decides that it's all my fault!! I now am asking myself, where did I go wrong as a parent?

10. 8:20am. A taxi driver is banging on the door. My son flies down the stairs fully clothed, and says smiling, "Bye, mom. Have a great day."

11. Later, I have now lost track of the time, my daughter is printing out copies of her resume. Her intent, no doubt, is to get a job and get out of this mad house. She is still not speaking to me, mother from hell!!

12. Later still, my husband comes down dressed for work. I mention that the object of our nightmare last night has gone to work. My husband points out that this son has always had a strong sense of survival!!

13. Noon, our eldest (31) calls me at work. He missed all the excitement because he had been staying at a friends. He is concerned because his best friend called to say that his mother got a call in the middle of the night asking for the police. Of course our name came up on their caller ID. I am now mortified. This woman is a doctor and her husband is a lawyer. The son in question is married and his wife is due to deliver their first child (second grandchild) in January. I have now involved two other innocent families in our circus!!

14. Several days later - my daughter finally decides to break the ice and speak, albeit with reservations!!

I don't even own a set of dominoes and have only played the game a few times. I understand that it is a great pub game, though, along with darts - go figure!!

Have a great day!!

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