I think I could write a book solely about how I’ve met all the friends in my girl’s lives. The teen years alone would provide a YA writer with enough ideas for a trilogy. While there would be tales across a multitude of topics, it’s the twins that I always think about with humor and grace. Today was no exception.
The afternoon found me able to address a family crisis while my daughter was thankfully, spending time with the twins. I knew she’d driven there the night before and had arrived safely, based on her brief 9 pm text. That was all the information I needed to get a good night’s rest. I hadn’t known how much I’d need it.
I didn’t necessarily need the sleep and patience for the afternoon I’d spent at urgent care. That was being addressed, and my sister and I were helping each other out, with another family member. In that timeframe of late morning and early afternoon, I was glad that my daughter was with her friends. I only had to let her know that she may get home before me. Shortly thereafter, I knew why I’d gotten enough sleep. She sent back a text that merely stated, “Will you pick me up at the high school at 5?”
I’d do anything for my kid. Of course I’d pick her up – but why not ’til 5 and where the hell is our Corolla? That’s what I thought as I read the text. What I sent back was, “I can but where’s the car?”
While I’m sure now that she thought it was an informative and reassuring text, I didn’t think so when I read, “You’ll see.”
So, I am a Mom after all. I called back as well as texted for more information. There was no response. She was even aware of my current situation. If she’d read my text. Or listened to my voice mail. Now I was a monster.
Not a make-believe monster but a trying-to-believe monster. I had to tell myself that at least she was alive. At least she had been a short time ago. I worked to trust in my God over the next two hours and tell myself, REPEATEDLY, that everything was going to be okay. I told myself if a tree had fallen on the car, that I had insurance. I tried to humor myself by thinking that if she’d been in the car when it fell, she was at least able to reach her smart phone and send smartass texts. I wondered if there’d been an accident and her friends, or their parents, were caring for her until my own, my first?, crisis was addressed? I wondered what she looked like.
Then I really didn’t know what to think when I got to the high school, at 4:58, and there was only a vacant parking lot. Over the next four minutes my mind went even wilder than it had all afternoon.
That’s when one of the twins, dear-dear-Olivia, pulled up with my 17-year-old precious baby. I was thrilled to see them as my heart tried to climb out of my feet and back into my chest. Before I got out of the car, I told myself to be calm. I counseled myself to know that it wasn’t Olivia’s fault and she probably didn’t even know that Tarah had been so vague with me. I loved the twins, and their prison ministry Mom (that was a prior blog entry!), so I just wanted to give her a hug for getting safely back to the school.
That’s when she opened the door and an empty beer bottle rolled toward me.
Let’s just say there was more to her story, and my trust, from there.
Knowing, believing, hoping, wishing that there was a reason for seeing beer bottles literally fall out of the back door, as Tarah reached in for her back pack, I waited for Olivia to respond. “They’re returnables” – giggle – “oh, that’s embarrassing” – awkward giggle – “really, there were a lot of them, so we wanted to pick them up off the side of the road” – she knew it looked bad – “really, come see – they’re all dirty.” “We didn’t want to leave them by the side of the mountain.”
My response to Olivia was a hug and a very calm thank you as I told her, “I don’t know if you realize I still don’t know where my car is, but I’m really glad you brought Tarah back!”
My response to Tarah after we both climbed in the car was neither calm nor a thank you.