Now, Austin doesn’t drive and I didn’t really expect to him to walk to 7-11 or anything. I was joking and I’m pretty sure he knew it.
Still, he hopped up, grabbed his shoes and said he’d run to the store. I told him, “I was just kidding, but if you want something, I’ll drive and you can grab me some chocolate too.”
I got my shoes and keys and started out the door when he ran past me.
“Austin, I said I’d drive!” I called after him. “Get in the car!”
But he was already a block away. I hopped in the car and drove toward the store. As I passed Austin, I rolled down my window and called, “Really, Austin? Get in the car!”
He insisted he wanted to run. Okay then. I drove on to the store. I got to 7-11, grabbed a pack of peanut butter cups and a Coke Zero (to balance out the Reese’s, of course) and put my items on the counter. The cashier asked me if I was ready to check out.
“Uh no. No, I’m um, waiting for my son. He’s jogging here.”
The cashier stared at me, not fully understanding what I was saying.
“He thought I wanted him to run. But I was kidding. Um, he wanted to jog. I was too lazy to jog. I drove.”
He continued to look at me, wondering just how drunk I was.
“Um, I’ll just wait, thanks.”
I stood there playing Words With Friends on my phone while waiting for Austin. The cashier kept looking at me, wondering if he should call the police, as he stocked shelves. Finally, Austin came through the door.
“Nice, Mom!” he said. “You tell me to go to the store for you so I do and then you fly by me in the car!”
“Whaaat? I told you, but you said you, but I said, I tried to get you in the car!” I sputtered.
He smirked a little. Punk.
“Do you want anything?” I asked. He grabbed a snack and we went to pay for our purchases. As the cashier rung up my health food, Austin piped up and said, “This is separate.”
“No, it’s not,” I insisted. “I’ll pay for your stuff, Austin.”
He refused. What kind of teenager refuses money from their parent??? But Austin has always been super-conscious of money. He knows we’re moving because I need to cut my housing costs and he would never ask for a thing from me. I glanced up at my son, mixed emotions playing through my head when he leaned forward and put some money in a jar marked “Japanese Relief Fund”. I just love that kid. I’m so proud of him for so many reasons.
We walked out of the store and he insisted he wanted to jog home. I sighed.
“Fine, Austin. I’ll see you at home.”
As I passed Austin, on the way home, he whipped a Swedish fish at the open window of my van. And in that moment, I realized he’s not quite as smart and awesome as I thought. I mean, hello? He just wasted a perfectly good, red, chewy glob of deliciousness by throwing it at my van!