Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Mom's Best gift does not a Writer Make

Yesterday, we had to take two children to two different schools at two different starting times for two crucial standardized tests.  We also were scheduled for a 2:30 mass for First Communion and my daughter had a 10 o'clock hair appointment.   The night before, I'd asked, "Do you have your pencils?  Your I.D?  Your calculator?" and my mom had stressed checking where the test was, as my brother once upon a time had been scheduled at a test site 20 miles away.  Still, this was new territory, and our crash test son has now paved the way for his siblings. 

After my husband departed with the two test takers, I received a phone call.  It was 8 in the morning.  "Does our son need any papers to get into the S.A.T?" his father asked.

Our oldest had gone into the building while his sister noted countless other children with more organized or seasoned parents marching into the school holding pieces of paper.  One girl had come out very upset, saying they wouldn't allow her to take the test.  My husband and I both knew our son had no such sheet and I hadn't even thought of it.

I clicked on the website thinking, "Why didn't you check this last night Sherry?  Why didn't you look?" and then, "Why didn't my son look?" and then, "Why didn't I ask my son to look?"  and filed it under, "Next time."

Yes, it said he needed his admissions ticket and that if I logged in, I could  print it up.  If I could get over to the high school in 17 minutes...if I could just find the sheet.  But I couldn't log in. I knew my son's user name. I was uncertain of the password so I tried my emails but alas, I'd deleted 27,000 old emails on the theory I did not need them; so I tried to log onto my son's email. He'd changed the password.  Knowing he did comic heros as a rule, I began typing.  I hoped it wouldn't be an obscure member of the Avengers. After ten minutes of searching, I discovered I'd been logging into the S.A.T. with his name in lower case, and it needed to be upper case and I'd known the password all along. Dragging the laptop to the printer, I loaded with paper and of course had to deal with two paper jams before the necessary document was in my hot nervous stressed out hands

Our son had already turned off his phone so we had no way of contacting him and his dad had left to take our daughter to her site and so it was all on me.  Fortunately, my parents are visiting so they could babysit or this insane errand would be completely untenable.  Now, it was barely managable if I bent the rules of space and time.  I'd go in my t-shirt and pj pants.  It was 8:15.  Test started at 8:30.  I just might make it. 

12 passenger vans are not built for speed.  But I prayed and lo, I hit every green light.  There was no traffic, I watched the clock mercilessly tick down the minutes until test time.  My son called.  His voice oddly not stressed, he asked why we'd left five phoned messages between his sister, his father and me when he was getting ready to take the S.A.T.   "You need your admission ticket." I explained.  He said, "I'm already in the room.  I was just getting ready to turn off my phone, I'd had it on silence."  I was a block from the school. 

Getting to the parking lot, I wondered, "What now?" If I went home, some administrator would demand to see my son's papers.  I knocked on the door and a gracious but weary security woman radioed to the staff running the gig.  They didn't need it.    Stand down red alert.  So now I drove home in the anti-climatic unhero of a stressful morning with no reward for the sacrifice or meaning.

"It might make a good blog entry." my mom quipped as she finished up breakfast for the littles.

True.  But now I'm personally praying for Writer's block.


Mary said...

That sounds very, very familiar! I have a son who just floats on by, thinking everything will turn out okay whether or not he has everything he needs! Glad it ended well!

Mum2eight said...

it is a great blog post. It helps me to know that I am not the only one that doesn't pay attention to details in emails.

MightyMom said...

I'm making my husband read this the next time he tells me to delete my 27,000 emails!!!!!!!

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!