I looked at my watch. Again. It was nearly 7:00 PM.
“What time did you say the auction closed?” I asked Nate, the head honcho of the camp where we’re volunteering. Again. I had already asked a few times but I wanted to make sure I had heard straight.
His answer didn’t change. My Daniel had left for the auction with a husband and wife volunteers late that morning and we had not seen nor heard from him since. They seemed like a pretty amazing couple…social workers, extensive work both stateside and abroad, advocates for the hurting. Pretty impressive stuff. Their love for children was apparent. And geesh….they were volunteering here too.
But they had my boy. And it was now 7:05 PM.
Viola, wife to Nate and head honcho-ette, called what she had hoped was their cell phone. The message she left on their phone didn’t help matters. “Just wanted to remind you that even though you have the camp credit card, a blank check and the kid, doesn’t mean you can cross state lines.” I think her eyes were twinkly but I wasn’t sure.
My boy! My firstborn! WHERE is he?
The worry wart in me was starting to pitch a fit. The part of me learning to abide in peace was doing just fine, thank you very much.
In between my fretting, we decided we needed a bite to eat so we went to a local Mom and Pop joint. Perhaps a ½ pound steak burger would assuage my worries.
“How well do you know these people?” I asked….it was now 7:15. “Maybe I should hop in the van and head out towards the auction site?”
“Theresa….these people have had background checks….”
Fat lot of good if they just haven’t been caught yet… The worry wart was talking again.
“We’ve known them for a long time…..”
How does one truly know another….
Viola interrupted my thoughts. “My only concern is that perhaps the truck broke down….” Viola was making a noble effort to comfort me but my imagination was could rival any Grammy Award winning script.
Oh my gosh! The truck! What if there was a collision with a horse and buggy! What if they encountered a gang of Amish ruffians? What if they never even LEFT because a fire broke out in the auction building due to a kerosene heater? Perhaps a meteor…..
Okay. Now even I could recognize I was getting carried away. We ordered our food. “Gimme some homefries with that burger…” Shut up, worry wart.
I made light of my fears and said, “Ha ha. Perhaps this will end up like that O’Henry short story where the kidnappers pay the parents to take the kids back….. Ha. Haha.”
Viola saw through my brave mommy ruse.
“Theresa. These people are past the age of wanting kids at home. They’re empty nesters.” I think Vi was no switching into “therapist” mode. After all, she is a highly trained therapist. It’s good to be with a therapist when you’re firstborn’s been kidnapped.
Oh good grief. So are these people! THEY’RE therapists! How many nutty therapists did I know? It would provide the perfect cover for a….oh! How can I say it….for a….a….KIDNAPPING!!!!
Now mopping the grease off my elbows from the burger…complete with mayo (and I don’t think it was low-fat,) Vi’s cell phone rang.
Was this a ransom request? A little food in my tummy was helping rationality a bit and I chuckled at my amusing muse. I popped another homefry in my mouth.
“What? They’ve got the kid….” Vi was messing with my mind. But now I was definitely seeing a twinkle in her eye.
I salted my homefries a little more. Those things can never have too much salt; it complements the grease. This is especially comforting when one is worrying.
And as is often the outcome of my worrying….everything was fine. They were on their way back.
Soon Daniel and his abductors were all assembled in the charming local restaurant talking about the origin of hymns, God and cute little goats.
Daniel was beaming his mega-watt smile. “I LOVED it, Mom!”
And I was not enjoying a piece of chocolate pie that had waaaaaaay to many fat grams. But hey! This was a celebration. I had survived yet another kidnapping. My gut feeling about these people had been right all along after all.
Evidently, that auction had run quite late and they had a tall order to fill: baby goats, bunnies and a handful of chickens and chicks. Really dangerous stuff, you know.
Imagination can be a very good thing….or even a huge money maker for folks like Stephen King.
And imagination is one of the most effective ways to live a life of worry and stress. (Not to mention suspicion, which is another quality I possess in abundance.)
Not how I want to live my days.
Today Viola says she thinks I may need to de-stress a little. I think she may be onto something.