Distraction is nothing new to me, not at all, but it appears that I’m capable of even greater levels of it than ever before thought possible. The other morning my husband and I both had meetings in the big city, and so younger son who is now homeschooling, came with us and was dropped off for a morning with his grandparents.
Somehow, during the hand-off at Grandma’s, the dog came up. The nine-month old lab who loves to chew and who is used to always, without fail going into his crate before we go out anywhere without him. Turns out, we’d all three of us assumed that one of the others had tucked the dog safely away before hopping in the car and driving for nearly 40 minutes into town.
Youngest son nearly completely freaked, as he takes all of the worries of the world onto his little shoulders as only a truly anxious soul can do. I calmly insisted that we would not be driving home to check on the dog because I could call the high school and get his older brother released for that very purpose. Turns out that was easy and the lovely woman on the phone didn’t bat an eyelash (well, I couldn’t see her, but you know what I mean). She even reassured me that she has, in her time on the school’s front desk, ‘heard it all’. I am so curious as to what other parents and families have had to tell this woman. But I digress.
Without indulging younger son’s worst fears, I was busily imagining what kinds of mischief Reggie could have got himself into in the hour or so between the time we left the house and older son turned up to ‘rescue’ him. Turns out, after a really good chew of some (thankfully inconsequential) toys on younger son’s carpet, he retired to the rug in the living room to do nothing more harmful than sleep. Same son is now having a blast claiming that his chewed up toy space shuttle looks like it came through a massive explosion at Cape Canaveral. Just the kind of thing that’s hugely amusing to a nine year old boy.
How lucky am I that this chewing machine did not experience his own anxiety at our completely sudden and strange absence and spend the better part of 60 unsupervised minutes disemboweling the sofa or worse?
As the father of Laura Ingalls Wilder loved to say, ‘A miss is as good as a mile’ (a favourite saying in our house).
Photo courtesy of older son.