In case I haven't mentioned it, my young son has slight OCD. It comes out in weird ways and we've managed to work through the worst of it but sometimes his thought process is a little bit out there.
This is the first year that we've had him take the bus TO school. We felt that he was older and could handle the whole thing and to be honest, I was just tired of the whole carpool thing each morning. So, we got in to the routine of taking the bus. It was touch and go for a little while mainly because the bus was not consistent in its pick up times. For a little boy with OCD, this was HUGE. We managed to convince him to STOP going out 20 minutes early and I studied its arrival time for a month straight and narrowed it down to a two-minute time span.
Not too shabby.
So the other morning, he leaves for the bus. It was still 9 minutes early but I call that progress. He leaves, he shuts the door. I then walk over to the door and open it up so that I can see when the bus goes by. Now this is a huge step for me because for that first month of school, I would almost stalk him in the bushes while making sure that he made it to the bus stop okay (it's two blocks away and cannot be seen from the house) and got on the bus.
Three minutes after he left, I see him running like an axe murderer is chasing him - in the OPPOSITE direction of the bus stop. Now keep in mind, I'm in my nightgown and robe - no shoes or socks - and now I am on the front porch yelling "Where are you going???" to which he replies "I can't talk now, mom! The bus!" I know for a FACT that the bus has NOT come and I'm screaming now for him to come back. He doesn't. In fact, he crosses the main road next to our house and is running down the other side of the block.
I am freaking out at this point.
I run in the house, get Frank, who then gets dressed, gets in the car and goes in search of the boy. I text a friend whose kids ride the bus with Michael and ask if Michael is at her bus stop. Then I call the transportation department and ask them to please get the driver on the phone and see if Michael is on the bus.
The driver won't answer.
Frank comes home like all is well. He's sitting in the car, finishing his cigarette, rolling up the window, turning down the radio and I am on the porch ready to peel my own skin off because I want to know where my son is. Turns out, Frank never found him. So I'm like "GET BACK IN THE CAR AND DON'T COME BACK UNTIL YOU KNOW WHERE HE IS!!"
My friend texts and then calls because she didn't go to the bus stop with her kids. Now I hang up and call the school. I am in tears right now because I have no idea if someone picked him up, is he on a school bus or did some freak take him. My mind was running wild. I tell the lady at the school to have him call home as soon as he gets to homeroom. Now I have no choice but to sit and wait.
I was sick to my stomach.
Finally, the transportation department called and Michael was, indeed, on the bus. PRAISE GOD! I was able to relax and breathe a little easier but I felt like I had gone ten rounds in a boxing ring! I went to take a shower and Frank was home and the phone rings. It's Michael. Frank lost it. He held it together for me all that time (the whole thing lasted 20 minutes but it felt like an eternity) and when he heard Michael's voice he was like "What were you thinking! You don't run after the bus, the bus comes to you!"
Honestly, we were both torn between wringing his neck and hugging him. It's not a feeling I ever want to feel again!