Posted by: Author | June 30, 2015

The Scary Place That is a Writer’s Mind

My son is in France for a semester abroad program. He left yesterday and I wanted to arrange a car service to be waiting for him when he got to Paris since that is what I usually do for  myself when I travel internationally. I always know I will be tired and probably hungry and don’t want to deal with the stress of finding a cab. I like having someone standing there with my name on a piece of paper. They take my bag, escort me through the throng and to a waiting car. It’s already paid for and then I am whisked away to my hotel/destination. Easy-peasy.

I offered to do this for my son- he is used to it as he has traveled with me over the years – I wanted to do it for his safety as well. BUT NO!! “Mom,” he says, “I’ll take the train. It’s only 10 Euros”-  Rather than follow my gut and do it anyway, I let him make that decision.

He landed in Paris at 1:40 am Central USA time and 8:40 Paris time. Texted me to say he was there. About thirty minutes later, he texted that his luggage didn’t arrive. So, as I was telling him what to do, he finally found it- but not after a lot of panic about what he was going to do with no clothes.  LOL! I was trying to settle him down as they would’ve delivered his luggage.

Once that issue was solved, he couldn’t find the train station. (I personally think he was still too spun up about that whole luggage thing- added to grouchy, tired and hungry- because he won’t eat airline food).  He decided to take a cab. He texted me about it. I told him to ask about the fare before getting in. Of course, he didn’t. So then it became a constant texting session to me about the meter and how fast it was clocking up. He wanted to blame the cabby for letting him get in when he clearly didn’t know what he was doing (!)  – I told him to tell the guy to let him out at a Metro station since son does know how to navigate that but he didn’t ask to be let out.

Then everything went silent. The boy had texted me for almost two hours now and then nada. Nothing. Zilch. So, I am frantically texting him to let me know he’s okay. No response.  So, I call.  It rings like 5 times, goes to voice mail. My husband is up by now since he’s heard all the text sounds. We are both frantic and I am saying the cabby has seen he’s a young man on his own, has pulled over and robbed him and left his body in the gutter. How do we call the police? We don’t even know what cab company he was using, etc, and on and on.

Husband texts kid and says, “Respond to your mother right now.”

Son texts, “As soon as I pay, I will.” SO he answers his dad and not me????!!!??

In a few minutes, he called and I told him my whole scenario that was flashing in my head. He said, “Mom, that is not the way it works.”  in this voice as if I am an idiot. This from the kid who now has paid 74 euro for a cab ride. AND yes, it could’ve happened.  Didn’t he see all those abduction movies??

Anyway, I told him he should know by now my imagination runs rampant.

I need a nap.  Texting from 1:40 am to almost 5:00 am is draining. He texted like 3 more times once he got to his destination. All I wanted at that point was a pillow, a blanket and some shut-eye.

EDITED TO ADD:  It seems my text messages were going to iMessage and my son hadn’t gotten any of them until he arrived at his room and hooked up his wi-fi and then he got 40 messages, boom, boom, boom.  So, he solved all his issues himself. I feel sick to my stomach though as I thought I was helping him and he thought I was asleep and didn’t see his messages. What a nightmare. I hate that he thought he was alone when he wasn’t. I told him I was in the airport and cab with him and he said he sees that now but it still makes me ill to think he thought he was all alone in a foreign country,


  1. Good grief, so scary. I’m with you and it never gets better. It’s our job to worry. So now sit back and enjoy his journey vicariously.

    Umm and I like the idea of a car.

    • Yep. Our job is to worry for sure. And he better have fun after all this. Lol. And yeah. The car idea is the best. Lol


  2. I go through that panic when I don’t hear or get cut off with my sons and they are usually in the same state! We are just major Moms, Jillian!
    I’m glad he is OK and I hope he has a more pleasant time for the rest of his trip.

    • Yep, we are major moms. Lol. I like that.


  3. Okay. Hyperventilating here. I’m the mom who freaked out when a kid went 15 minutes past curfew. I’d be apoplectic in this situation. So…on the flip side of this incident, you lost some significant sleep and probably gained several more gray hairs. And your son is aware 40 times over that you were with him. 🙂 But the best thing I get from this? He handled it. And that makes me think he’s going to do just fine in France. Major props to your son. And I hope you get some sleep tonight.

    • Oh yeah, I was totally hyperventilating. I even told that to my husband. AND even after he let me know he’d gotten the 40 texts and that I was there for him, I am still eaten alive with guilt as I imagine his feeling of being abandoned. Hubs tells me to let it go but that’s easier said than done for me. BUT as you and my hubs said, he handled it and learned some things on his own that he now has the experience to draw on. AND yeah, He’s going to be fine. I have to remember, he did get coping skills living with us. LOL! Hubs said that both of us are guilty of handling everything when we travel with him and the child just follows along so this was actually good for him and I get that but a mamma’s heart beats differently, doesn’t it? 🙂

      • It was very good for him. Not so much for you. Yes, you have to let the guilt go. It’s not easy to do that, though. I know. 🙂

      • Amen. I know and I will. It’s just going to take me a minute or so. J

  4. Oh my goodness, what a night. For both of you. Bet you’ll be glad when he’s back home on American soil where you’re closer to him.

    • For sure, Trisha. It was traumatic. For sure. And, yep, when he is home he’s only 3 hours away.

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