Sunday, September 21, 2008


Okay, first of all... It's printed. We don't have an envelope big enough or a box small enough to sent it yet (and everything's closed on Sunday) but the damn thing is printed and ready to go. So there.

Second of all, Ryan went to his birthday party. It was on the third floor of our building where one of Ryan's classmates lives. She's turning five, obviously. Sam says the dad's either gonna come up and get Ryan or Sam is gonna take him down there. Well, there was no one here to get Ryan at 2, so I figured Sam would take him, but at 2:05, ding-dong. Okay, the dad comes up here and gets Ryan, asks if Ryan understands French and says that he'll bring him up after the magic show around 5pm. Fine. Cool.

So, Sam and I spent the afternoon cleaning (and printing out my book, and searching the whole house to find something big or small enough in which to send it *eye roll*).

When 5 rolled around, I said, "Hey, they prolly have lots of kids down there, why don't you go down and get Ryan so they don't have to come up here."

Sam says, "Eh."

5:15 comes and goes. I repeat my suggestion. He repeats his response.

5:30 I repeat my suggestion, I add a little extra intonation for good measure. He puts on his shoes.

While Sam is down there, let me give you a little background. I had sort of a rough childhood in a couple of ways. Most of those ways, I didn't realize it was "rough" until I grew up, but in one way in particular--that of sexual abuse--I figured it out. Let's just say that because EVERYWHERE I WENT, someone was touching me in places the teachers had said folks shouldn't, I figured it was my fault/plight/destiny. I want to avoid that destiny at ALL COSTS for my children. So, while Sam's saying, "Ah, Joj, he's just down there having fun," in my imagination, they're down there doing a kiddie porn shoot.

Sam comes back up with no Ryan and says, "It's okay. He's having fun."

I exhale.

"He's at the park."


"Yeah, it's okay. All the kids went to the park with the clown."

"Clown? What happened to the magician? Where are the parents? Why didn't they ask us? Are you kidding me? Etc. etc. etc... Insert all the questions that are running through YOUR mind because I know that as Americans, you're all as freaked out as I am cuz it's like culturally in our brains to watch our kids like hawks (even if I DIDN'T have my own past and whatnot)."

"It's fine, the parents went with them, the thirteen-year-old sister told me."

It's SO far from okay.

"I TOLD you to get their number. I TOLD you to give them your cell. Sam you KNOW how I feel about this."

He just chewed his lip and that made me even more nervous. I had expected him to try to coax me and condescend to me some more.

"Sam, we don't even KNOW these people! Go get my boy!!!"

"What? They're at the park."

"I don't give a good goddamn, you go to the park and find him."

Sam hesitates but is just nervous enough he decides it might be a good idea... Because it's 5:45. It's one thing to stay a little extra at a party because he's having fun and quite another to be gone AWAY from the party for nearly an HOUR over. ON A SCHOOL NIGHT. I just don't understand what could be going through these people's heads... they have a daughter in Ryan's class!!!

Anyway, I wander around the house, cleaning, breaking up my own fighting girls, chewing my nails, going on line seeking advice and hoping SOMEbody's gonna tell me I ain't crazy for feeling this way (thanks girlies!!!) and hoping SOMEbody's also gonna tell me it's just cultural (thanks other girlies) and that either way, worrying won't help (thanks self!). I call Sam once, and he hasn't found him. I call another time and there's no answer. I can't stay away from the window that overlooks the park... Searching faces and clothing. Hoping to see Sam riding along with Ryan on the back of the bike. But nothing.

Finally, I call once more and Sam says, "It's okay. It's okay. I'm waiting for the elevator, I'll see you in a minute." Well, I don't know who the hell he's talking to when he said, "it's okay" because it sounded like he was talking to Ryan. So, I'm wondering if he's comforting Ryan!!! I'm expecting him to come through the door within 60 seconds but ten minutes goes by. I call again. No answer. I'm FREAKING. A few minutes later, he walks through the door. Ryan has something red running down his face. I'm hysterical, but in as low a voice as I can muster, I say, "You should have CALLED me." Sam knew he had messed up because his face was one big apology but then he started in with the excuses. "He's FINE." "I was there in front of the girl's PARENTS." "What did you want me to do? Say, 'Ryan's not making kiddie porn' in front of her PARENTS?"

Dude, I don't give a flying FRICK what you say in front of her parents--I don't care if her parents are Mother Teresa and the Pope--as long as you call me and say, "Joj, I have Ryan and he's okay, we'll be home in ten minutes." That's all it would have taken.

I followed him into the kitchen and said as calmly and diplomatically as I could, "In the future, we write down phone numbers and have an understanding about when Ryan will come home... In fact, WE'LL pick him up from now on." Sam nodded his agreement. Then I said, "Now I need to go to my office and cry. Give me some space." I came into my office and just UNLOADED all of the fear and stress. Dude... I know I overreacted a little, but you hear all these stories on the news. I don't usually let media freak me out, but I love my young'uns, y'all... And like I said, I have a bit of a past with perverts.

So, after I've let it go, and I'm folding the dipes, Sam looks up and says, "You know what?"

"Huh-uh. What?"

"He did the half marathon this morning."

It would have felt better if he'd have thrown a spoon at my forehead. SNAP!!!

I felt like doo already... And then that... *sigh*

About that. Well, I watched it. And I cried. Yep, today has been quite the sobber for me. I watched and watched and watched as HUNDREDS of people raced past my window... and THEN, they came BACK by my window... And then, they passed my OTHER window and went into the park with band fanfare and all. I KNOW I couldn't have done that race as sick as I am. But some part (ahem, many parts) of me wishes I had at least been READY to do it. I would have done it, sick and all, and risked pneumonia, if I had been READY to do it. Maybe it's for the best, then, right? Well, the one good thing that has come out of it is that I am going to get up next Monday (giving myself another good week to get over this yuck-funk)and start. I'm gonna be ready for Houston. And for Paris. So, there!!!

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