This morning around 6:15 I walked out to the kitchen and found Devin rinsing some dishes in the dark. I suggested he turn on the light over the sink.
“No, that’s OK because I’m only here temporarily.”
He had to be up that early because he needed to walk to school today. This is the basic conversation that I had with him yesterday when he came home from school. He was about an hour late.
(The scene: our kitchen, 4:00 on a Wednesday. I am cooking. Devin comes in, sweating and out of breath.)
Hi Dev! How was your day?
Good. Man, it’s hot out there.
Hey Mom, do you think you can drive me to school tomorrow?
Because after school today I loaned my bike to a friend.
He needed to get home right away.
No. We do not loan out bikes like that. Who did you loan it to?
This guy named Angel.
Angel? What’s his last name?
I’m not sure.
Well you call him right now and get your bike back.
I don’t have his phone number.
Well then call your other friends and see if they have his number.
My other friends don’t know him. I have different sets of friends.
Where does he live?
I don’t know.
How are you supposed to get your bike back?!
He’ll bring it to school in the morning.
So you gave him the bike lock combination?
No, of course not.
Then how is he going to secure your bike overnight?
Overnight? I didn’t think about him having the bike overnight.
Well, tonight is going to come before tomorrow morning at school right? (in full blown smart-ass mom mode.)
Well, I assume he’s going to store the bike in his backyard.
How can you assume he has a secure backyard? You don’t know where he lives.
Look Mom, my friend needed my help. He needed to get home right away or he said his mom was going to kill him.
So you opted to risk your mom’s wrath instead? Great choice.
I’m sorry, but I can’t not help a friend. I help my friends, that’s what I do. You wouldn’t understand. It happened fast and I did not have time to think about possible repercussions.*
So he is supposed to bring your bike to school and since he does not have your bike lock combination, he is going to just leave it, unsecured in a bike rack, so that someone can walk off with it?
If that happens, I’ll use my allowance money to buy a new one.
Darn tootin’ you will!
(I stomp out of the kitchen, brow furrowed, pausing only to grab a Xanax on my way to call Dad and vent, vent, vent.)
We shall see what happens. In the meantime, this child cannot extrapolate the idea that parents’ worry about him loaning out his bike may morph into parents’ worry about who he is letting drive his car when that time comes…
“With the thoughts you’d be thinkin’ you could be another Lincoln….”
* In the middle of all of this, I was pleased with the vocabulary choices that he made.
OK, he came home from school with his bike. However, he rode home from school without a helmet. (This is the same kid that got hit by a car two years ago and the only thing that kept him from serious injury was his helmet!) Of course I asked why he didn’t have it.
“Uh, Mom, I’d look pretty stupid walking to school wearing a helmet.”
“Devin, did it occur to you that you should have carried the helmet or put it in your backpack?”
Just then (I swear I am not making this up) a suicidal squirrel came running across the street and up our driveway, where this conversation was taking place. He zig-zagged back and forth and ran right between us in a total panic.
“Wow. That was random.”
“No. It’s not random. He is a kindred spirit, instinctively drawn to you, because you are both potential road kill.”