But not for my housekeeping skills – Those are seriously lacking.
I feel like I earned the Seal for parenting today.
I had the day off and my oldest son had a doctor’s appointment in St. Louis. Since he will be meeting over there once a week for many months, and my husband and I are not comfortable with him driving in the city, we decided he should take the metro link rail system.
Being from a town of 550 people with no stoplights, we’re kinda nervous about the metro link too, so I decided I would spend my day off traveling into the city (which as most of you know is what I do when I go into work.)
As we drove to the nearest stop, 30 minutes from our house, I pointed out exactly what he would need to do when he was by himself. I kindly explained things 3 or 4 times, hoping that he was listening to me at least once. Keep in mind that this is the same son who rarely comes out of his room, let alone leaves the house.
We bought our train tickets, figured out which stop we needed and hopped on the train. After a few minor mishaps, we arrived 15 minutes late to his appointment. All these mishaps were “learning experiences” in my mind, so the poor kid had to listen to me lecture about what he should do should he encounter these same situations while traveling alone.
Our mishaps included guessing the wrong stop… we figured this one out because I knew we were going to be late so I called the doctor, and then asked them which stop was closest to their office. This meant we didn’t really need to change trains which was one of the reasons we were late in the first place. (1st lesson learned)
The second lesson occured shortly after getting off the train. The desk clerk told us their office was right next to the stop, so we got off the train, and then stopped to get our bearings. (I guess I should say “my bearings” because my son was still pretty clueless at this point. A kind lady stopped to see if we needed directions, and then promptly pointed us in the wrong direction. After walking 4 blocks in the sweltering heat, with a gnawing feeling inside that we weren’t going in the right direction, I patiently cussed, turned around, fumbled through my purse looking for my phone. Not finding it, I dropped it on a ledge, took everything out, mumbling still about how hot and ridiculous all this was… I mean it was SUPPOSED to be right next to the stop, and then called the office again.
Ok – that part I’m not proud of…. but
the extremely patient desk agent on the other end of the line, guided me exactly to their office – which amazingly was right next to the metro stop. So second lesson learned – trust your gut and not some stranger on the street, no matter how helpful she intended to be.
The doctors visit lasted about an hour, and I knew that if I didn’t get something to eat, I wouldn’t be patient for the ride home either, so we walked about 10 blocks to Subway. Did I mention the temperature? 100 degrees at least. But definitely worth the walk. Feeling much better, we walked backed to our metro stop ready to tackle the ride home.
We knew by now that we needed the red line. That line would take us all the way back and we wouldn’t need to change trains. We only had to wait 5 minutes and the next train arrived. Just as it stopped we hear: “Ladies and Gentlemen… we will need everyone to exit this train. This train is no longer in service… Do not board the train, as it is no longer in service.”
The train sits in front of us, mocking us, and we wonder if they will be able to get it started and moved so that the next train can pick us up.
10 minutes later, they finally move it… just in time for the BLUE line to come in. By this time we were dying of heat, so we just get on the train, knowing that we will have to get off halfway through to board the red line.
At the very next stop, the doors opened to mass confusion on the platform. People were yelling and running. I couldn’t see what was going on. All I knew was I wanted them to close the doors and leave before any of them got on the train. I found out later from a fellow passenger that there was “a fight between a fag and an old guy.” Apparently, they were punching each other and trying to push each other onto the tracks.
We finally make it back to our car, and although I am a little nervous about him traveling alone, I know that it’s a fairly safe ride, and we certainly experienced everything that could possibly go wrong so he should be able to handle any situation thrown at him.
So that’s why I feel like I earned the Good Housekeeping Seal for parenting. I’m proud of myself for only losing my patience once… and I am proud of myself for not stressing about having to use my day off to go into the city again – thereby not getting anything done at home, and most of all, I am happy that I had a chance to spend the day with my 18 year old. We talked, we laughed, we figured things out together. I saw a whole new side of him, and it makes me proud to know that he’s on the right track…. so to speak. 🙂