and then again...

In lieu of the bus, and thanks to an early morning meeting, I had pre-planned to drop Caroline off at camp early this rmorning. She had the honor of being the first camper on camp this morning. Even though there was no line up, I could tell, this was a well oiled machine. Lines painted on the asphalt, counselors gathered to collect the kids from the cars and walk them to the lodge. She was skeptical, but with a hug from me and a playful tush swat I watched her walk away with a friendly counselor who get this - KNEW HER! on sight. Talk about reassuring.

I made it home in time to take my 8AM call. I should technically be there in person, but yeah, it's a long story and that just isn't going to happen anymore. So I took the call from the house, got kicked off for the medical director to call in, only to have a colleague call me on my cell phone from her cell phone forcing me to strain to hear the meeting. For 40 minutes. Until I suggested during a pause in the neverending banter that perhaps since the medical director had released the line, I could save us both some minutes. ahem.

I organized myself, made myself a peanut butter and honey sandwich, grabbed a handful of cherries and a Coke and headed off to Watertown. BTW, that peanut butter and honey sandwich is something I have been craving since we watched a Rock Center with Brian Williams story about Romney and his "body man" last week. I had never had one before and WOW! My meeting in Watertown ran longer than expected and wouldn't you know that my other meeting was in Medford and had to be scheduled for afternoon because the patient was expectng the nurse that morning. Except that OH YEAH, the nurse bailed because her schedule got too busy and I could have gone there first and worked my way back down. Nothing annoys me more than these outlier visits, particularly when the bus from camp arrives at the designated lot at roughly 4:15, though it could arrive as soon as 4:07. I bolted from Medford at 3pm, encountered a huge traffic situation before I even caught sight of the Zakim, exited at the last minute to Storrow Drive, crossing myself in the process and begging the big guy to get me to the Pike. I flew, I felt victorious. Storrow to Pike, Pike to 95. Red lights. The whole way. I had given myself an hour plus and there was no way I was going to make it. There was no way I was going to make it. I begged the big guy some more, but I think I had already used my divine intervention quota for the day. I pounded on the steering wheel. I screamed. I mean, I literally screamed. And then. I cried. Tears welled in my eyes and I gave into the only plausible solution. I had to call camp immediately, it was just now 4pm, the kids were on the bus on their way and my iPhone traffic map showed red the rest of the way to my exit. I would never make it, this was a reality, and I had to act fast. No one would be there to get her and if I continued driving to try to make it, they would hold the bus only a few minutes for me before sending it on to the next stop, a stop I just happened to be near.

The camp acted quickly, efficiently, communicating to me immediately right then and there the exact location of the stop I needed to get to. I could hear them radioing the bus counselors to hold her on the bus. I hung up and cried some more because my little girl was going to lose it when they told her she would need to stay on the bus, that mommy wasn't there. I had failed her. I had failed her on day FOUR!

I made my way to the stop, waited an eternity, and saw her SMILING face leap off the bus.

"Mommy, can we do it this way everyday?"

No, Caroline, no we CANNOT.


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