I just have a lot to say.
April 16th, 2014 by

Aarrgghh and Ahoy!

I mentioned to Chuck that I thought a Disney cruise would be fun sometime. “Absolutely not,” his typical response to things not his idea. “Do you know how much those things cost?!” Then, early in the summer, the Ramseys told us that they had booked one for October. After we got the kids settled back in school, I asked Chuck where he’d like to go for vacation, which we always took during fall break. He said, “What do you think about going on that Disney cruise with the Ramseys?”

We were to sail on Sunday and drive on Saturday. The kids were out of school on Friday, too, so we had to spend the day washing, packing, and cleaning. Auburn High and Justin had a football game in Enterprise that night, and we planned to meet the Spencers there. Chuck had been out of town all week on business and was supposed to be home sometime Friday evening. I would have everything ready to go before we left for the ballgame. No problem.

Friday afternoon, I was up to my eyeballs in dirty socks and wet underwear, and I was beginning to fret. After I sent the kids downstairs to clean up the playroom, the doorbell rang. I stomped to the front door ready to shoo off neighborhood children. Instead, I looked straight into the eyes of a policeman. He rattled me a bit, because I thought he had come to alert me to some trouble in the neighborhood.

“Can I help you, Officer?”

“Are you alright, ma’am?”

“Yes, sir. What’s going on?”

“You called 911.”

“No, sir.”

“Someone in this house called 911.”

“Follow me.”

For some frazzled reason, I wanted to strangle one of the girls. The officer and I stumbled through the mess all over the floor with me explaining about vacation, my husband’s trip, yada yada, until we got to the trashed playroom, where every Lego and Polly Pocket was thrown in the middle of the floor. Suddenly, I was terribly embarrassed that he fights crime, and I can’t even keep my house clean. I threw open the playroom door and demanded of the girls, “Which one of you called 911?!” Of course, they were stunned. I looked around the room and over to the bed just as a little strawberry-blonde head sneaked under the unmade covers.

The police officer went over to Phillip and asked him for the phone, which he had not hung up and was still connected to the dispatcher. He told the dispatcher that everything was fine. I told Phillip that police officers are very busy people, and we can’t call 911 for fun, only for emergencies. Those were my words, but my tone was flustered and exhausted and humiliated. I told Phillip to look the nice officer in the eyes and to apologize to him. He refused to do it. If it were not for the presence of the law, I might have harmed the boy. I sent him to his room and coolly escorted the policeman out of my crazy house.

I couldn’t go into Phillip’s room until I calmed down. He was content in there, so about an hour passed before I remembered him and went to talk to him. He wasn’t there. Since the door to his room was closed, I assumed he was in there hiding from me. I looked in all the usual spots and couldn’t find him. I started calling him all over the house. Angry again, I went downstairs to see if he was with the girls. Nope. 

Now I wasn’t angry; I was frightened. Even though the doors to the outside were locked, I went out and called him. I looked in the van. Where else could he be?! At what point should I call Chuck and tell him Phillip was missing? I knew I couldn’t call 911, BECAUSE THEY HAD ALREADY SENT SOMEONE HERE TODAY!!!! Besides, that policeman knew how angry I was. I would have been tops on the suspect list. About the time I decided to panic, Abby hollered, “Mommy! I found him!” I went to his room where his sisters were hysterical—with laughter. He had crawled into his yet-to-be-packed duffel bag and fallen asleep.

After a not-in-the-schedule, hour-long visit with Uncle Buddy, we left for the ballgame after it had started. We arrived after halftime, and the woman at the gate made me pay full price for all four of us, including the kindergartener, who had practiced what he learned at school that week about what to do in an emergency.

That night, Chuck came home. And the next day, we went on vacation.

Disney cruise 2003

Sara Beth, 3; Rebecca, 7; Wilson, 6; Abby and Emma, 9; Phillip, 5


One Response to “Aarrgghh and Ahoy!”
  1. Poor sweet little Phillip.

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