Crash Kid — now the proud holder of a junior license to drive — has been getting up early (well, actually late by his usual academic schedule, just early for summer) and taking The Boy to his rehearsals for summer stage. They tooled out of the driveway at 8:30 am (precisely, The Boy is nothing if not punctual, and reproducibly so). Crash is usually back by 9. At 10, Math Man wanders into my study upstairs and says, "Where's Mike?" Whoosh. All the air flies out of my lungs. Where is he?
"Ah...he did say he was going walking with The Chem Obsessed One today." And of course, given the heat, early would be good for that, but I don't remember when he said they were going. Neither phone call nor text raises any response. Occam's razor suggests the simple explanation is that he is walking or running and has left his phone in the car rather than bouncing in his pocket, and assumes that his wifty mother has remembered since last night his stated plans. As the kids would say, "Let's go with that."
But Mom's razor can't quite slice things so neatly. Did something happen with the car? Would they call if the Boy didn't show for rehearsal (he has a lead, they would miss him quickly)? Was there an accident? Rationally I realize my history makes me think zebras when I hear hoofbeats, but when was being rational ever a criteria for being a mother?
Forty minutes later the phone rings, caller ID reassuringly announcing it's Crash on the other end. He pops into my study a few minutes later to reassure me in person, with an "Of course, if he's not answering his phone, he's been squashed by an 16-wheeler." He teases me that I wasn't too panicked. Only 2 phone calls and 3 texts. I point out one phone call is Math Man's. So a rough estimate of the ratio of maternal worry to paternal worry would be 4:1.