Saturday was quite a day. And when I say that, I mean that by 10:00 a.m. I was ready to call it a day and put in a request for a new one.
A lot went on.
Just one of the things that happened was that Adam and Braeden didn't return from their campout around noon. Unrealized expectations are the source of 90% of the discontent I feel in this world. (I still insist on coming up with expectations though. I don't know why.)
I figured they'd be home around noon.
For no apparent reason other than I wanted them to be home around noon.
As the day progressed, a difficult day for me for other reasons, and I was Adam-less, I felt a rising resentment for scouting in general. (I had to blame something.)
I was a little cranky.
What was the point of Adam's weekend--his home time, such a precious commodity--being swallowed up following boys up and down mountains?
What. Was. The. Point?!?
Adam called a few times and it became clear they'd be late. Mark was sick and on the verge of throwing up. I threatened him Big Trouble if he threw up on the carpet. He looked a little betrayed but that's just kind of the mood I was in.
Finally, I got him to sleep, in our bed. With a bucket nearby.
Adam called. It was sometime after 9:00. Adam's had panic in his voice maybe a handful of times since I've known him. He's even-keeled and a problem solver but he was disconcerted. He told me that they'd missed the ferry and the next ferry bringing them from Kingston to Edmonds would be at 11:00 p.m. When I groaned he said, "That's not the bad part."
The boys were on the ferry.
Adam said the boys were restless while they were waiting to board the ferry. Adam had relented to let them board on foot since they were assured getting the cars onto the ferry. Adam and Keven Jackson, the boys' leader (Adam's an assistant) were in their cars.
Then they realized they weren't going to make the ferry.
Keven, father of eight mostly grown children, responded in a way that catapulted him to hero status in the hearts of each boy (and their grateful mothers). He took off running. Over a speaker, an employee chided, "Get back to your car, Sir." Unheeded, Keven ran. He crossed eight lanes of parked ferry traffic and headed up the ramp. Adam said Keven's legs were a blur. He'd never seen anyone run that fast. The employee switched gears and called to the ferry to wait. She radioed, "A man is running up the ramp, running like a non-smoker would run."
Keven made the ferry.
And it was at this point that Adam called me.
He asked me to drive to Edmonds to retrieve the boys. He said he had to stay there with Keven's car until Keven could return. I instructed Emma vaguely in my haste that I had to leave and told her to go lay with Mark. I couldn't see my purse in my cursory glance in the closet and just skipped it. I did grab my cell phone. There's a new strict cell phone law around here that I completely ignored.
I called the other parents. Did any of those boys have a cell phone? (Keven didn't.) They had no idea I was on my way. I didn't want them to return back across the Sound for a night of ferry riding.
Even though a lot of those boys have nicer parents than Braeden and own cell phones, they are good boys and heeded the no cell phone rule for camp outs. Darn good boys!
I, with my sketchy sketchy sense of direction, had never been to the Edmonds ferry terminal. I prayed for direction. I prayed to be able to find the boys.
I was confused (are you surprised?) by signs for the ferry--I didn't want to get in the loading lane--and by the train tracks but I pulled over in a likely spot and saw 6 gangly boys on the beach. One of them was mine. I rolled down my window and yelled into the night, "Braeden!"
He was incredulous. "Mom?!?"
I've served this same group of boys everything from hot chocolate to pizza to brownies and they've never been as happy to see me as they were at that moment. They told me Brother Jackson had boarded the return ferry for his car and given them instructions to wait there. A policeman was there, closing down the beach. They hadn't known what to do. All the money they had between them was $.75 in Braeden's pocket. And no cell phones.
They climbed into my van, wondering how I'd possibly known where they were. And telling me they were starving. I apologized that I didn't have my purse or we would have visited an all night drive thru. Even though they smelled like 13 year olds that had been camping and hiking, I was that happy to see them all.
First of all, I handed around my cell phone and told them to call their parents. "Tell them we're leaving Edmonds," I said. Without exception, instead of mentioning Edmonds, they told their parents in breathless tones about Brother Jackson's heroic run. They said, "He's like 50 years old!"
After they'd all checked in and I'd had Braeden update Adam, the boys couldn't stop talking about Brother Jackson's gallantry. I told the boys they were very lucky.
"The reason Brother Jackson ran like that is because he cares about you very very much."
There was silence in the van. I knew that they all understood the truth of that statement. Brother Jackson loved them. With a love that propelled him not only to spend his weekend in their company but to achieve super human speeds to come to their aid.
And as a mother, how can I possibly be cranky about scouts?
At 11:00, I had delivered the last boy (have I mentioned they smelled?) and took my weary and sunburned boy home. All the boys had thanked me for "saving" them. I felt a little like I'd been given a gift though. The bond they'd forged through their adventure was palpable. And besides, I really care about those good boys too. Especially the one I gave birth to.