Friday, October 17, 2008

I've Got Your Kid...Now What?

Some situations are just downright funny.

Last night I was going to get M from her football game. 7:30 is the designated time for Middle School games to end. It never happens. The past several times it has been at least 8:15. So I left the house tonight at 7:15, giving myself 30 minutes to drive to town, and maybe I wouldn't have to wait too terribly long.

The George County fair is between my house and the football stadium, so I decided to go around another way and avoid Family Night traffic. I was within 3 minutes of the stadium when my cell phone rang. It was M informing me that she was now at the band hall. "The band hall! At the Middle School? What are you doing there? I'll be there as soon as I can turn around."

The middle school is on the other side of Lucedale. I found a (very dark) place to turn around and headed back the other way. I was afraid M was going to be the last one to be picked up, but apparently I wasn't the only one that didn't like sitting in the stadium parking lot for 45 minutes. As M walked out to the car, my co-worker's daughter came out with her and asked if she could have a ride, too. Her dad and I trade kid pick-up all the time, but usually it is arranged ahead of time.

Here's the tale. The kid's mom was photographing a wedding shower. I know the bride's family. They live in Agricola, down Cemetery Road which is across from the church. The kid had tried to call the mom's cell phone, but got the voice-mail. (Agricola is pretty much a cellular black hole.) I just don't want the mom to drive all the way to town and not find her kid. I try the mom's cell phone and leave a voice-mail: " I've got your kid and I'm taking her home... um, to your home." I really don't want to get in trouble and I don't want the kid to get in trouble, either. I know there had to be some other plan for this kid to get home. She tells me that her dad and brother are hunting. She calls her house: no one is home. She's in the 7th grade. Home alone is not a good thing.

As I get into Agricola, I decide to try the dad's cell. He answers. "I've got your kid. What should I do with her?" This is getting funny, now that I'm actually talking to a real person. He asks where we are. I tell him I have just turned the corner by the church. He says hold on, he's got his wife on the phone, too. I pull into the church parking lot to wait, and pull around to face the road - Cemetery Road. He comes back on the line and says he lost his connection with his wife. Looking down Cemetery Road, I see a car coming. I tell the kid to see if that's her mom's car. As it turns out it is, but since I am driving the truck we just bought, it is unfamiliar to everyone. The mom turns left. I pull out behind her and hand the phone to her daughter, who calls her mom and tells her that we are stalking her. The mom pulls onto the side of the road and we pull in behind her. It is pitch black dark on a country road, yet these 2 women both get out of their vehicles, stand in the middle of the dark road and laugh. Dogs are barking to high heaven, a couple even run out to us barking. We stomp a foot and say "Get on!" and they retreat. As we are standing in the road in the dark, her phone buzzes and tells her she's got voice-mails! We laugh some more.

Only in a place like this can this happen and no one be worried. Only in a place like this do you sit in the church parking lot and fully expect the next person to drive by to be the one you really need to see. Have I ever mentioned how much I love living here?

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