Today after doing a bit of running in town, I was sitting in the back yard enjoying the cooler than usual temps. Simon had been out there with me, messing with his gold panning stuff, but then he wasn't. I wasn't really paying attention to where he went off to, in fact I wasn't even totally aware that he was gone.
TC came out and told me to tell Simon to mow the lawn this evening. I assured him I would after clarifying that "this evening" did not mean "right this minute" but did in fact mean "before dark" Communication like this is vital in our house. It is never safe to assume what TC means. You always want to clarify. Which isn't to say that he is a tyrant or anything like that. But being an old school, small town, Wyomingite, his definition of phrases are not always the same as mine. It is so much easier to avoid an argument by simply asking him to clarify.
Anyway, I knew I had not yet picked up the morning dog poo (even though it was now pushing 5 pm- Hey its Sunday, I can slack a little!) So I did that, put some rose food on my babies and then sat down for a minute waiting for the boy to reappear.
And I waited.
Finally I came in to see if he was in his room.
He was not.
I immediately figured out where he was.
Across the road that boarders the back side of our property is a large desert area. It is fenced off and from what I understand, privately owned. There is a gate, and one of my neighbors has possession of the key so that people can ride their horses there, but other than that your only way in is on foot. Simon has recently discovered that not only is there good sand for gold hunting out there, there are also "treasures".
So I pulled on some boots and headed out to find him. I walked out to where I suspected he would be, and I called and called. There was no sign of him. Not even a foot print.
I was getting a bit nervous. I began asking myself what kind of mother doesn't think to pay attention to where her son is going? What kind of mother doesn't think to tell her son not to just wander off to the desert without telling some one? Granted he is 14, but still, we should have rules, and I should have noticed that he was leaving.
I totally suck!
I walked North just a tad, calling his name as loud as I could. Still nothing.
I walked South, still nothing.
I walked back home and went to get my car. The battery was dead.
Great! My son is going to die in the desert from a snake bite because I couldn't get to him in time over a dead battery.
I took TC's flatbed and drove up our road, across the back road and then in the borrow ditch between the road and the fence and I put it first and let er coast while I scanned what I could see of the horizon.
I found myself seriously wishing that I was on horse back, for the higher vantage point and the ability to cover ground faster. Not to mention four-hoof-drive.
I kept calling his name, feeling quite sick to my stomach now. The sky was getting grayer and I was worried.
Suddenly he pops out from behind some bushes. Not to scare me but because he just happened to be slipping through the fence at that time. He had an old worn out motorcycle tire on his shoulder, a cow horn and piece of hide in his hand, and a out of production beer bottle in his pocket.
I seriously wanted to jump his case and forbid him from ever going into the desert again. But I easily resisted that urge. I wanted to be mad but I couldn't.
I think a large part of that was some weird misplaced sense of pride.
Let me explain.
As a young girl I had a terrible habit of wandering off. I have always been an explore at heart I think. Or perhaps a gypsy, I don't know. I can't even begin to tell you how many times my mom was ready to call the police because she thought I was gone for good. This was usually just as I came home completely oblivious to how long I had been gone, or that anyone might have been worried about me. Not once was I ever lost. I always knew my way home, and just didn't understand what all the fuss was about. I started this when I was in about 1st grade, and it continued all the way up into my adult years. It truly has only been in the last 10 or 15 years that I finally started making sure some one knows where I am. Plus I am not as physically fit as I was then so I tend not to walk off as much.
Being a desert dweller most of my life, I totally get how easily he could just be having the time of his life wandering through the desert, picking up rusty treasures, cool rocks, or what ever. It is the best way to lose yourself, and find yourself all at the same time.
But things have changed in the desert in the last 15 years. It isn't always quite as safe as it used to be. Plus he isn't from here. I mean he is, but he was young when he left, so it is a little easier to get lost.
So we made new rules. No desert walks without letting us know when and where he is going. No desert walks without a walkie talkie. (set to a prearranged channel) or cell phone. (preferably a cell) No desert walks without a stick and a knife.
Okay and here is the clincher. When he came in the house to show TC his treasures, I was grinning ear to ear, because lets face it, for the first time in years I will have some one to go rock hunting with me!!!
He is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, his mothers son!