I nervously checked the clock often as I eagerly awaited for Hailey to get home and hear all about the first day of middle school.  The bus was supposed to arrive at 2:58 pm.  It drives by our house as it goes to the stop down the street.  At 3:09 pm I called my neighbor who's daughter rides the bus to see if I should start to worry.  She said her daughter had just texted her and they were on their way.  Sure enough, a minute later the bus rolled by.  I contained my urge to run to the bus stop and hug her and see how her day went.  Instead I folded laundry and tried not to pace.  At 3:17 pm I was wondering how a 2 minute walk could take so long.  I really didn't want to be that crazy, over worried mom.  But after checking outside a few times to see if I could hear the girls chatting, I caved and called my neighbor to see if Hailey had stopped over there.  No!  Hailey wasn't there and wasn't on the bus.  Her daughter figured I picked her up.  Panic!

     It was that terrible moment when all the blood in your veins constricts and you get an adrenaline dose so high you could scale Mount Everest.  With neck veins bulging and my heart racing I called the office.  Hailey hadn't missed the bus and was not in the office.  The very nice secretary put a call into all the buses to see if she was on the wrong bus.  TEN agonizing minutes later she reported that she was not on any of the other buses.

     OMG!  Now the panic really set in.  Where was she?  I began to worry she had gotten off somewhere else and was lost.  Was she on campus and not sure where the office was?  The secretary asked me to call any of her friends that she might be with.  I called her best friend and she wasn't with her either.  Serious panic.  At this point I am ready to call the police in sheer terror that my beautiful baby is walking out in the 115 degree desert heat lost.  At this point school has been out for 50 minutes and no one has seen Hailey since lunch!  The doorbell rang.  I dared not hope it is her.  It was!  I hugged her so hard the tears began to well in my eyes.  How could she have gotten home?  Oh, thank goodness she was safe!  My heart felt like it would bust with joy.
     Hailey had been on the wrong bus and realized it toward the end of the route.  An acquaintance from 5th grade asked her what she was going to do.  Hailey said she would just get off and try to walk home.  I repeat...  She was going to walk home in 115 degree heat with no water and not a clue where she was!  My little baby walking ALONE in the desert.  My worst fear confirmed.  Luckily her friend had more sense and said that she had to let her mom take her home.  I said a special little prayer of thanks for that girl. Without her I can only imagine what might of happened to my Hailey.  Needless to say we had a long talk about going to safe adults for help when we have a problem.  Any problem.  Ahem- like the bus driver when your on the wrong bus.  Hailey has the most wonderfully imaginative mind, she has a heart of gold, and she is a blessing to have a child.  I wish for one day I could live in her head where unicorns prance and mermaids swim.  However, the critical thinking portion could use some expansion. I am rethinking homeschooling.  Well, at the very least a cell phone.  The cell phone I proclaimed I would not get her until high school. Busted!


Anonymous said...

Katie, I relived every moment of yr anxiety, terror
w/you and I had only three
kids to raise. Lv, Anonymous/Gram

Lacey said...

AKKKK!! I would have panicked and freaked out too!!! That is a schools worst night mare you know. There is always one or two who get on the wrong bus. Glad she made it home safe and lucky her--maybe she is really just extreemly bright and know how to get a cell phone. :) :) ;) ;) p.s. my friend has a tracker in her daughters backpack that tracks where she is so she can always tell when the bus is coming...just another thought. :)

Anonymous said...

CRAZY! Yes, cell phone time. If you don't have a good family plan we got Kyle a phone from Virgin mobile it is like $35 a month on a month to month plan and has unlimited text and only 200 minutes. So, we can call if needed but mostly he texted his friend and everyone anyway and we can reach him anytime. I don't know how you lived those 50 minutes, I would have FREAKED!

Posted by Jenn Janssen