I'd promised this story before my world took a temporary dive into the toilet.
As with most dives in the crapper, unless you can reduce yourself to the size of just ONE human ache, you're not going to make
it down the john and off into whatever
sewer system your slice of the world has set up for such waste. So you have to pull yourself out of the bowl,
shower yourself off, and move forward until you feel the next load of life's
dark stuff descend upon you.
This story is entitled CALLING HOME and stars the one member of my immediate family I do not mention as often as my very prolific Muse Publishing, Inc. author daughter Kat Holmes.
Some of you know the story surrounding the day my son left New Jersey for Georgia, but I told it a bit ago and you may have forgotten it, just as many of you never heard it...so let me give you the hated...all my editors please turn the other way a moment...
Since my daughter was sixteen when
THE EVENT occurred, I have calculated my son was 18 at the time. (They're 22 months apart, my boy and girl.)
The day...well I had to go to work...I was a teacher. My son asked for my car so he could job hunt.
I have an MA in Special Education. At that time I was a floater. That means I would step in for any teacher going to be out on some sort of medical leave for a long time. (Substitute teachers can only fill that role for ten consecutive days. After that they need a teacher with an actual NJ teacher's license....See a sub as long as they have 60 college credits, no matter what their major in...
((like basket weaving))...can get licensed as a substitute teacher.)
That period, and it was the last eight weeks of that school year, I was filling in for a male teacher in a class designated Emotionally Disturbed who'd been knifed in the upper thigh by one of his students...now in Juvie.
My son dropped me off at 8:00 in the morning. He was to return for me at 2:30. My day was a typical day in a class filled with children classified Emotionally Disturbed. There are many fluctuations in the planned curriculum while tempers are dealt with and restraining actions required. My weeks there, I can safely say, were never dull.
2:30 came. I was tired and ready and eager to go home, grab a quick shower...you get spit on a lot in ED classes...put my feet up, order in, and pretend tomorrow
was a light year away.
I climbed into the passenger seat and knew the minute I looked at my son's face something was wrong...really, really wrong. He didn't start the engine, which was unusual since he loved driving. Instead he gave me his "Mom we need to talk" look. It's never a good thing when your teenaged son gives you
I took a deep breath, tried to prepare myself for what was coming, but had no way of knowing,
my world would soon be shifting so far out of my control, I'd lose an
ocean of tears before I got home for that much needed shower.
"Mom," he began, his voice deep, rich, and so familiar. "I need you to go with me to the
I had been expecting the usual "Mom we got to talk" conversation. "Mom I drove my
motor cycle up the back end of a woman's car and because I don't have a drivers license, gave her YOUR information." (This is a motor cycle his employer's son at that time gave my son without my knoweldge, permission, or consult.)
This was way out of my typical area of "Don't worry, I'll take care of it," bag of tricks.
"What are you talking about?" I demanded, well as much as one can when one has a little girl voice that is shaking with fear.
"You know there's nothing for me here," he said. "I can't get work, and I can't stay here living off of you. I called Mike and his Dad. They said I could come stay with them. I'm leaving on the 4:00 bus headed for Marietta, Georgia." (Home of the BIG Chicken.)
I learned in that moment how quickly a heart can shatter, and how strong a mother has to be when the time has come to let her chicks leave the roost.
We drove to the Greyhound bus terminal, three towns over in a silence that screamed with agony...at least on my part.
I stood beside my son, ordering my heart and my eyes not to let him see how difficult this was for me as he bought his ticket.
I sat beside him on the badly peeling green wooden bench outside, inhaling the belched stench from the busses that pulled in and departed while we waited for HIS bus.
I walked with him over to the open hatch where he stowed the packed duffle bag I hadn't seen in the back well of my little white station wagon.
When the time came for him to leave, I held him, not sure if I'd ever hold him, or see him again.
I stood at the curb and waved when the bus pulled away. I watched the bus creep up the long sloping driveway to the main road. I memorized the distance between the rear brake lights, and felt
my stomach flip when the bus turned onto the main road and blended in with the rest of the traffic.
I did not walk back to my car until I could no longer see even a belching cloud from what was my son's disappearance from my world. By the time I reached my car, I couldn't see at all.
I was forty minutes from home, and I couldn't see through the tears flooding my eyes. I could barely breathe through the pain ripping my heart to shreds. Driving...well I stopped a lot along the way to wail and scream.
But I did finally make it. My son...we had our problems, but you still
wither when they leave.
Days passed, weeks, months. A new school year started.
Kat received home tutoring through our school district three times a week. The school scheduled her times at 7:00 to 9:00 in the evening. (Her tutor, a moonlighting teacher making money on the side through the district.)
She was there at the table working with Kat when the phone rang. It was my son. We talked a little...unlike me he has this
deep, booming voice. All of a sudden he tells me...
"Mom, I'm horny." The surprise in the tutor's eyes was priceless.
When I hung up, she asked me "Uhmm what did he expect you to do about it?"
To this day I don't know the answer to that question any more than I know why he felt I needed to know this...but that's my boy! Mothers, we have a lifetime of stories to tell.