There was a time when I taught Reading Recovery and during that time, I was required to attend a Reading Recovery Conference in another city. I fretted about how I would go and spend the nights away from my three sons. They were old enough to take care of themselves, sort of, but young enough to get into trouble. Two were teenagers and one was twelve.
I drove to the city where the conference was and checked into the motel. I went to the conference’s events, but worried about what was going on at home. It was a school day and everyone had gone where they were supposed to go, but I worried that they forgot their house keys, or missed their bus, or whatever popped into my head that I could worry about.
When I got back to my motel room that evening, I called home. It was so noisy that I could not hear well what my oldest son was saying. Yes, everyone got home ok. Yes, everything was fine. No, he couldn’t talk; someone had let the dog out the front door and he had to go help chase her down. Don’t worry. All was well.
The dog went out the front door? The dog NEVER went out the front door unless she was on a leash. What was going on? Should I drive home? I waited about thirty minutes and called home again. The dog was back in the house. The noise level was lower. Everyone had eaten dinner. All was fine.
Well, if he said so. I had asked my neighbor to keep an eye on my sons and come over and help them if it sounded like they needed help. I hadn’t thought to take her phone number with me.
The next year I commuted to the Conference. I don’t know what happened while I was away the first year, but it sounded like they were having too much fun at home without me.