Young children are cute so that their parents don’t eat them. But I’m not sure what keeps the teenage years from being justifiable homicide.
My oldest son attends Eastern Oregon University and called us recently to say he would not be home for Christmas; he had to go to Puerto Rico to visit his girlfriend. That I understand. What I don’t understand is why he would call from North Bend, Washington to say his car would not run, he only had a dollar and a quarter and had lost his debit card. How did any of that fit into a plan?
After an hour on the phone, I had a tow truck on its way to pick him up haul him the last forty miles to Seattle and then drop the car at a service station I had located and the son at a hotel. I convinced the hotel desk to advance him fifty dollars on his credit card so he had some cash for meals. All this was accomplished from the cell phone while driving home. I thought I should have a cape and a spandex suit.
The next day the son called from Dallas, Texas to say his airplane needed to be sprayed down for ice before leaving Seattle so they arrived in Texas fifteen minutes late and he had missed his connecting flight. The airline had put him up in a hotel (The Westin, no less!) but they had charged him fifty dollars for his extra bag so he was broke and his credit card was full so he could not eat. After a half hour on the phone, I convinced the credit card company to extend his limit another two hundred dollars. He flew out the next morning and was to arrive in Puerto Rico at 1:30 but at 2:30, his girlfriend called us to say everyone was off the plane and had their luggage. She had him paged but he was not answering. We called the airline and they said his ticket had been used. An hour later he called to say that he was in the luggage area and had just found a phone that allowed ten minute calls to anyone in North America for only a dollar. He now had a quarter left but no bags and he could not leave the secure area until he had a local address to have them sent to but he did not know his girlfriend’s address. We called him back a few minutes later to tell him the address and where his girlfriend would meet him when he left the secure area.
How much more exciting could this adventure get? The following two weeks were fairly uneventful. Then we got his call from Seattle. He arrived there on his way back with ten dollars but he had maxxed out his credit card with the tow truck and so on. The hotel had let him check in but he needed a way to pay them and buy gas for the trip home.
Once again, I was on the phone to the credit card company and once again, the problems were solved. I emailed him a map of how to get from Seattle to Wenatchee then north to Kelowna. This route is slightly longer but it had been snowing for two weeks and this seemed the best way to come home. An hour later, he called to ask if he should turn off the highway at Everett.
“Sorry, son, but if you are in Everett, you have driven fifty miles up the wrong highway.” The weather had turned nice so I told him to keep coming north and then follow Highway 1 home. A few hours later, he called again, this time from Princeton.
“How did you get there?” I asked.
The sign on the road had pointed one way and said Kamloops the other and said Penticton and he didn’t know which was the right way but he knew Penticton was close to Kelowna so he took the turn off and the slower winding old highway home.
So, just like when he was a baby, all cute and bald, I forgot my thoughts of homicide as he walked through the door. No matter how much he costs, I am still happy to wear the cape and spandex for a few more years.