Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just call Mom

While I was in Ottawa on business last week I got a phone call from my son.

"Mom, I lost my car keys."

"And you expect me to do what, exactly?" I replied.

I have some parenting talents, but finding a set of keys from 4500 kilometres away is not one. I told him he had two choices: find the keys, or call, and pay for, a locksmith. Manchild was not happy with this answer.

Fortunately that call came when the formal part of my meeting was finished. But I was reminded of a similar phone call about four years ago. I was in meetings in Ottawa then too. I had left my son on his own overnight for the first time. He had instructions to call me at set times, but not during the meeting hours unless it was a dire emergency. I was nervous about this big leap into responsibility, so I kept my cell phone out on the table on "silent", just in case.

At a crucial point in our discussions, my phone began vibrating and dancing around the table. The display showed the call was from home, so I grabbed it and ran out on 25 people in the boardroom. "Ohmigod, what's wrong?" I thought. "Is the house on fire? Did he cut a finger off preparing lunch?"

"Hello, what's wrong, are you O.K.?"

"Hi Mom, have you seen my grey hoodie?"

Today's dream travel destination: Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset England. Beautiful, cool, magestic. And that deep underground, no cell phone service.


Diana said...

Well, you DID say call if it was an emergency and that certainly qualifies for a teen emergency...

I can't tell you how I hate the ubiquitous use of the cell phone. It's like it's an infant that requires constant attention. I am particularly pleased when it goes off repeatedly during a visit with a patient, and our dialogue/exam is continuously interrupted. Bah. Double bah. Of course, part of my intolerance is likely due to my hatred of chatting on the phone in my own case.

CS said...

Beofre the advent of cell phones, there was a similar issue with pagers. People would page in the middle of the night to check an appointment time or just chat. Argh. So now I am very, very clear on what constitutes and emergency ("If you think you are going to kill yourself..."). Maybe you have to review with teens what does and does nt count as emergencies. (Fire, yes, hoodie, no.)

Voyager said...

Diana, Yes, he certainly thinks a misplaced hoodie is an emergency. With this kid I'll be finding hoodies until he leaves home and marries. Maybe even after that!

CS, I supose lost car keys when the car is on the other side of town is a bit of an emergency, but not MY emergency. His. How old do they have to be before taking some resposibility for their own problems? Wait don't answer that, I'm afraid of the answer!

Jazz said...

Well, I'm sure finding the grey hoodie, if nothing else would do, could be considered a dire emergency for a teen.

Love the cavern. Have you ever been to Carlsbad in New Mexico?

Jocelyn said...

The grey hoodie. Hilarious.

I'd be happy to join you in those lovely.

JoeinVegas said...

Maybe he figured that because you always knew what he was up to that you were psychic. Were you able to conjur up an image of the keys (and hoodie)?

Voyager said...

Jazz, I have never been to Carlsbad in New Mexico, or even New Mexico for that matter. I would love to go. I've never been to the Wookey hole caves in my post either.

Jocelyn, Let's go girl!

Joe, As I recall, I was unable to find the hoodie by memory, and you know what my answer was about the keys. Amazing that the kid still has faith I can fix these problems.
The keys eventually showed up in the back seat of a friend's car.

Rozanne said...

I once tried to hike to Wookey Hole using some sketchy instructions in a guide book. Never got there, but, wow, the scenery blew me away so it didn't matter. About 99% of the hike was through incredibly picturesque, hilly sheep pastures.

Alda said...

Ah yes, I get those all the time too. Sometimes the trivial emergencies of the resident princess can send me up the wall!