I drop Victor off at the corner. I don’t have a time machine but he does have twenty minutes to walk to school. After a tirade of complaints about fairness and the cold, I say, “You’re a Sportsman or so you keep telling me. It’s good exercise and will warm you up. Have a great day! See you when I get home.”
Victor sighs, “Bye, Mom.” He stalks off.
I check the rear vision mirror for a moment to see if he heads towards the school and not back home. Trust is a wonderful thing. He chooses wisely today.
I drive to Freddie’s High School. Stuck in traffic from parents dropping their children off at two private schools along the way, I stop at the traffic lights and visualize my home computer sitting dormant. My heart lurches with passion and desire. Life gets in the way too much sometimes and Victor’s profound words about fairness echo deep in the recesses of my mind.
The traffic lights go green and I snap myself out of wishful thinking. I turn to Freddie who hides behind a wall of thick, wavy hair. Is he awake? I’m not sure so I tell a funny short story. A short barking laugh emits from his mouth. He’s present and knows I’m not really mad at him for making me late for the fourth consecutive work day.
I ask him to take out his diary to compose a reason for his tardiness. He complies and sits with a pen poised to write something. I drive another block and suggest, “Traffic and road works caused delays.”
He shakes his head. “You said that last week, Mom.”
“Flat battery? The dog was bitten by a scorpion so we had to detour to the Vet? It was too cold to get out of bed. I’ve been up since 2 am finishing my English Assignment after socializing on the internet and playing on-line computer games.”
“Mom, you can’t tell the truth!”
“Why not? Maybe, they don’t even read it.”
Freddie falls silent. End of conversation, I gather.
I anticipate a gap at the roundabout and am through in record time. Yes! It’s a block to the High School. Freddie still sits rigid like Rodin’s “The Thinker” statue. I see a sign, “Road works – Reduce speed.” “Aha! That’s the truth! Traffic and road works caused delays.”
Freddie writes it down. I pull over to the curb. I sign and date his diary.
“Thanks, Mom!” I see a faint smile through his curtain of hair.
“Make sure you go to bed earlier tonight. Have a great day! See you when I get home.”
Freddie groans and gets out. I stop at the traffic lights and watch him walk into the school gate. Success!