I was on my way out the door to deliver a home cooked meal. I checked e-mails (that was my mistake). I had one from Cara, sent via blackberry. It read, 'Whatever you hear in the news about clarion, don't worry about it.. They exagerated everything.'
I responded to that e-mail, with words to the effect: 'What the...???! What's happened?'
The veritable font of information that is my child texted me: 'Not me, everythings fine. You're just gonna here some things that happened in the news, and they sound scary but they're not.'
Mama lunged for the phone. After dialing her number, I heard 'Hi. This is Cara. Leave a message and I'll call you back.' I'm standing there with a warm meal and home made bread. I have to leave.
Tim and I share a cell phone. He's got it. I met up with him after work. I grabbed the cell straight away, and I tried to call Cara. I heard her cheerful voice: 'Hi, this is Cara...' etc. etc. I fretted while I washed the storm windows and Tim hung them.
By the time we got home, we could read about it online. There was a fight in the dining hall and one student stabbed another. There was also another text sent from Cara's blackberry earlier after my calls from the cell: 'MOM I'm in class.. Quit calling me, what's wrong?'
She finally called back nearly five hours after that first text. "I told you there was nothing to worry about. I saw the television news crews and figured you would have a hissy fit, so I sent a quick text, even though I was on the way to class." She acted as if her noble act should warrant a cookie. I pointed out that we couldn't have seen it on television. She cheerfully said, "Oh. I forgot you don't get reception.
Initially, she did not seem to understand that nothing about her original messages was reassuring. (In fact it had the opposite effect.) I'm pretty sure, though, that the ensuing conversation made it pretty clear how we will handle a situation like this in the future. Or maybe it was Tim's calm assurance that the next time we received a message like that, we'd simply hop in the car and drive the hour and a half to her college to find out what was going on.
Cara, this is the sort of thing that Santa takes note of. Seriously.