Have ever watched horror movies like Freddie Kruger (Nightmare on Elm Street), or Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Maybe you’ve seen a Lifetime movie where a woman is running down a dark deserted street. You know the one, where the woman looks back at the person chasing her, then she trips and falls. This is the kind of journey we were on the night my teen son asked me to drive him to a party.My son asked if he could go to a party at a friend’s house. I asked the typical questions – Who sis the friend, where does he/she live? Will their parents be there? Etc. My son was ready with his rehearsed answers. As he searched the directions on his phone, he even told me it would take 13 minutes to get to the friend’s house from where we lived.
After about 10 minutes the road we were supposed to be on ended and the GPS rerouted us. At the same time, one of my sons’ friends called and wanted to ride with us. He said he know where the girl lived, so we turned and went back for him. Both boys programmed their phones with the address and we were on our way.
We rode up and down the rural street supposedly where the party was to take place. On one end of the block the address numbers were too high. When we crossed the road to the other side, the numbers were too low. My sons’ friend told me to pull over at the dark house on the corner and he would go to the door and ask if that was the house. I turned on the dome light so I could glare at him as I said, “NO.”First of all I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, sweat pants and flip flops with socks (a hot mess). Second of all, I was not sending a teenage boy to a strange house in the middle of nowhere. So we kept driving.
My son’s phone battery died and then so did his friends. My phone was the only one left with a partially charged battery. This was Scene one, act one of our journey. As we continued to drive we saw a van on the side of the dark road. The trunk was open and it looked like there was a large clear plastic bag in there. The driver looked to repairing a flat tire. That was one time I could not be a Good Samaritan.Thirty minutes later we still had not reached our destination. As we followed the GPS we reached a road closure. My son told me to go through it (the road was open to local traffic). I drove around the barriers, which after half a mile, led us to another barrier. By this time we were driving past corn fields.
I told the boys, “If we ever find this house, I’m going in too. And you’re only staying 15 minutes because I’m tired now.”My sons’ friend was in the back seat laughing and singing spirituals. I joined him by singing one of our Sunday morning songs, “I will trust in the Lord, until I die.” Then I thought about the words. “Maybe we should sing a different song.” We all broke into laughter.
We gave up on finding that party. I told the boys that there probably wouldn’t be many people there because the location was too hard to find. They found out later that not many kids from our area went to the party because it was hard to find.The lesson I learned that night was that I should obtain directions in advance when taking my son somewhere. When kids give directions, you need to be prepared for the unexpected.