You have to understand my son likes to sit in the backseat of the minivan and prefers to ride the 50 minutes to Classical Conversations in silence. Sometimes Abraham reads for class; sometimes in the rear view mirror I see him drooped in sleep.
We were a few minutes late but I had to stop for gas. I had enough to make it to exit 8, just over half way, where the Irving station offers the best prices. John, sitting in the front seat, intently read up on the Hudson River School painters, while I got out and pumped gas. No one spoke; we were congenial in our silences. I should have paid attention.
Tank filled, I got in and drove through the rain to White River Junction, two more exits up the highway, each ten miles apart. And when I pulled up to the door to let the boys unload their crates near the portico, John and I were stunned to realize we were alone.
Abraham was not sleeping in the backseat; the backseat was empty.
Instantly we knew where he had to be–back at the gas station–but we could hardly believe it. So, John took his stuff to class and I hit the highway. My son was twenty miles away.
Now, keep in mind he is a teen, not a child, so I was confident I would find him waiting for me. But he did not know what to expect of me. Would I notice he was gone before I reached exit 9 and so turn back? Or go all the way? He called home to get my cell number from my husband (using the gas station’s phone since he does not have one) but I never got it. Abraham waited for 45 minutes, crouching on the rain-wet grass, watching every car coming from the highway. And that is how I found him when I finally pulled up.
We had a good laugh, and I am thankful he is such a level-headed young man. But I don’t ever want to do that again!