Crisis averted, THANK GOD.

Yesterday, after writing about how stressful things were around here and telling everyone that it was getting better and I was even sleeping at night, I had something happen that caused me to toss and turn last night, barely getting any sleep. 

Let me give you a little background:

There is a little boy who lives just around the corner from us.  He’s been my son’s friend since Kindergarten.  He is at our house frequently, and sometimes stops by our house at the end of the day, when he is walking home from school.  His mother had a time once before when she wasn’t going to be home by the time he got to the house (she was stuck in traffic) and she called me up and asked if I could intercept him on his way home and keep him at my house until she arrived.  I was happy to help.  I know it’s handy to have someone close by who is able to do so; somebody who’s available in an emergency.

Now onto what happened yesterday:

This boy’s mom called me after lunch and asked if I could keep her son after school again.  She wasn’t sure if she would make it home in time.  I told her I wouldn’t mind doing so, it was no problem.  So she called the school and told them to tell her son to come to our house.  She left a message saying, and I quote, “Tell ****** to go to *****’s house after school.”  (Names blocked out, of course.)

Fast forward to the afternoon, and there I am in the car line waiting for my children.  My daughter comes out, right on schedule, but my son is a no-show.  It’s not the first time this has happened, so I wasn’t worried.  I just had them call his name again, thinking he simply didn’t hear his name called the first time around.  Except, he didn’t come out when they called him again.  Nor did he come out when they called his name yet again.  It was at this time that I started to get aggravated.  I didn’t know where my son was, nor did the school staff.  I needed to deliver my daughter to her art class in ten minutes, and I didn’t want the little boy who was walking to our house to arrive at an empty house, both at his house and mine.  So hoping to at least spot the other little boy and get him into the van, I craned my neck to look across two parking lots and up a hill to see if that little boy had already started walking home, and who did I see?  My son.  Walking home from school.

Now, here’s the problem: He is not allowed to walk home from school.  We do not feel safe having our second grader walk, unaccompanied, home from school.  Yet someone at the school let him out of the building, without parental approval.  And I am furious.

If I had not happened to look at the walkers, and if I had not happened to give him his bright orange jacket to wear, I would not have known where he was.  I would have parked my van, walked into the school, and then gone into a panic because they did not know where my son was.  I would have called 911 and launched a full scale search for my son.  I would have sent my son to school in the morning, and then have had the staff tell me they lost him that afternoon.  It would not have been pretty.

As it was, I drove out of the school parking lot, and hightailed it to an area that I thought I could intercept him at.  But he and his friend had started running by that time, and I couldn’t intercept them from where I was.  They were hightailing it down the side of a busy road.  So I started running, and screaming his name at the top of my lungs.  I ran past parents and children, all the while screaming for him to stop.  Finally, I caught up with him, and the mixture of relief and anger and adrenaline caused me to start crying and yelling at him, all at the same time.  Then he broke into tears, an it was all downhill from there.  (But we made up, don’t worry.)

I am so furious with the school.  I called them as soon as I got home — from the driveway to be exact — and tried to find out how my son was given the message that he should walk home, and who let him.  You see, they all have forms, signed and dated, that tell how the children are supposed to get home.  If you need to change their usual way of leaving the school, you are supposed to write a note or call.  They are not supposed to, under any circumstances, let the children leave the school in anything other than their usual way without parental approval.  The school secretary was full of apologies, but not full of answers.  And now I’m wondering if just anyone could call the school and tell them to let so-and-so walk home, and they would do so. 

All last night I could not think of anything other that what might have happened if I hadn’t have just happened to see my son walking.  What would two little second graders have done when they arrived at my house, and it was empty and locked?  And if they had gone onto the other little boy’s house, it too would have been empty and locked — where would they have gone then?  And how would I have found them if they then went on to someone else’s house? (Because I’m sure he would have gone on to another child’s house somewhere.  That’s his style, and that’s why he doesn’t walk home from school.)  What would have happened?  You would have seen an Amber Alert with my son’s (and his friend’s) picture on it.  Because he would have been lost, at least as far as I knew. 

And I would have died inside.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Dad on 02/12/2008 at 5:35 pm

    At least you relieved some stress by writing this all out. This blog thing is probably good for you. And things sure do happen to you. Very glad it worked out (pretty much).


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