The phone rang and I walked to it, glancing at the call display and seeing an increasingly familiar number for the local treatment centre C recently began attending during the day. I realized my stomach had clenched and I had stopped breathing for a moment – an old familiar reaction to what I assumed was one of “those” calls. I considered for a moment not picking up. Denial can be a good thing, it’s my friend on days like today. But I picked up and tried to brace myself for what would come.
“Hi Mom” greeted the chipper and clear voice of C.
“Hi C” I responded, hesitantly, trying not to convey my assumptions and worry through the phone as I waited for the onslaught . . .
“I just called to tell you that I’m having a great day. I played Chaotic with Joe. I got out of the pool 5 minutes early – it was my idea” His words came tumbling out. But they were full sentences, clear, easily understood. No need to interpret and ask further clarifying questions to understand the intent.
He was having a great day
He called just to tell me that
He played a card game with someone
He got out of the pool
It was his idea
Then as suddenly as the call had begun it ended with “I gotta go mom – we’re heading outside to play ball. Bye. Don’t come early”
He was going outside to play
He said he had to go
No whining or begging me to come get him
In fact – “Don’t come early”
It took me a few moments to realize I was still holding the phone, dazed and confused, the fast dial tone scolding me for not hanging up.