The other night, I went downtown for a blogger event. I was totally looking forward to this, not because it was going to be such a grand soirée, but because I’d have a couple hours to relax and be responsible for no one but myself. I gave my parents last-minute instructions and cruised to the train station in traffic. I was running late because apparently I’m incapable of getting anywhere on time, but I pulled into the station with like a whole three minutes to spare before the train arrived. Stressed out and feeling guilty that I had dropped the ball on making dinner for my kids ahead of time, I joined my friend Michelle and sunk into the seat she’d saved me on the train. I took a deep breath. “Okay,” I told myself, “I’m off duty now. Just for the next few hours, I can do what I want. I won’t have to break up any arguments. I won’t have to tell anyone to go to bed 50,000 times. I won’t have to. . . ” brrring
I glanced down at my phone to see a text from Austin. What’s the password for your old laptop so Clay can play a game on it?
I texted the password to Austin, then turned to Michelle. “Ahhh, it feels nice to sit down. So, hey, what are you doing tomorrow around lunchtime? I was just wondering because I have a friend coming over to tape. . .” brrring
I looked at my phone again. A text from Jackson read, Can I go over to John’s?
Before I even had a chance to text my well-thought out, considerate reply of, I’m off duty! Ask your grandparents!, my phone rang.
“Mom, can I go over to John’s?”
“Sigh. Yes, Jackson. As long as it’s okay with Yia Yia and Papa, you can go, but you’d better be back by 6:00 because you’re getting picked up for hockey then.”
I hung up and turned, apologetically, back toward Michelle when my phone beeped. This time it was a text from Savannah. Hey Mom. Can I have like $20? Pweeeease?
I looked at Michelle and explained. “My daughter is hitting me up for money long distance.”
I texted back. Sure! You know where Yia Yia’s purse is.
Instantly, another text came through. This time, from Jackson. Forget it. I can’t go to John’s after all because his sister is sick.
Before I’d even finished reading that one, another came in.
Can I please have $20? I’ll love you forever and ever.
John’s mom changed her mind. I can go over there now. Is that okay?
Hey Mom, it hurts when I breathe deeply. I think I might have a fever.
So, can I have some money please?
Can I go to John’s?
Is it bad if you can’t breathe?
I shook my head and looked at Michelle. “Just a minute,” I apologized. Then I got up and walked to the end of the car while the train came to a halt. As the doors opened, I whipped my phone out onto the track.
You can get out for a couple hours, but you can never get away.