When my brother and I were in 2nd or 3rd grade, our mom was late to pick us up from school. Looking back, I think she was, at most, 30 minutes late. But to our 8 year old minds she had abandoned us forever, forcing rebuild our lives at the bike rack.
It’s haunted me ever since. I have never been late to a meeting. We arrived an hour early to Elijah’s baseball game last Saturday. Even now, I’m typing this a full half hour before my first meeting of the day.
I’m honored to have passed this nervous tick along to Luca. And whooboy does he got it bad.
Every night, around bath time, Luca starts with the questions.
“What happens if Hannah doesn’t pick me up tomorrow?”
Diana always has to field this with, “Then I’ll come pick you up from the store.”
“What happens if you don’t pick me up?”
“Then Lexa will pick you up?”
“What happens if Lexa doesn’t pick me up?”
This goes on and on until Diana has exhausted every single person we know, imagining stranger and stranger coincidences for he or she not to be able to pick him up. Car crashes. Cell phone explosions. Alien abductions.
It usually ends up with an exasperated Diana saying Luca will have to live at the YMCA for the rest of his life. It makes my bowls drop whenever she says it.
And this usually calms him down for 2, maybe 3 minutes before he starts up again.
“Mom? What happens if Hannah doesn’t pick me up tomorrow…”
“Then I’ll come pick you up from the store.”