Last Friday, Sept. 4Th, I was on my way to have lunch with my friend, Stephanie. It was a wonderful day and I was I was enjoying one of many furlough days from work. As Stephanie and I prepared to leave, I got a call from my mom - Man-child went to my job. She said she asked him whether he had enough money to get home and he said "I'm alright". Hmmmmm something was up and I just had that feeling that something was not right. I called him on his cell phone and I got no answer. I left with Stephanie to take care of a few errands.
I was trying to enjoy my time with my friend but I could not let go of that nagging feeling that something was not right. I called Man-child's phone several times and I still got no answer. As the afternoon progressed, I got quiet. Where in the Heck could he be? One hour later, no Man-child and he still was not answering his phone. Two hours later - no Man-child. I am thinking - do I go look for him but where? Is he out with new friends? Did he spend his money? Too many questions and not a clue of where this child could be. My mom was calling me every 30 minutes with reports of "He ain't home yet!!" DUH - I know but what do you want me to do!! Stephanie, in her very quiet voice said, "Sis, I'll drive and we can go look for him if you want". I said "I know but where would we look? If he is walking, there are a million routes he could have taken". We sat and Stephanie keep me busy.
Almost three hours later, my Mom called and said he was home. After taking a breath and saying a quiet Hallelujah, I was better. When I walked in the house, he was sitting at the table - eating. I said nothing. I listened to him tell my mom that he forgot I was home. He used his bus card to get to my job, spent his money on food and forgot to charge is cell phone so he could not call. Finally I said "why didn't you call collect from a pay phone?". His response "I saw a homeless person standing next to one so I kept walking". "Well, what happened to the money I gave you for an emergency"? He said "Oh, I was thirsty, so I spent it". To give you an idea of how far he walked - it is a total of 6 1/2 miles from downtown Baltimore. After he ate, I watched him soak his feet, (he had on dress shoes not sneakers) and then he went to sleep.
One week later - today, it is raining buckets outside. Man-child left out of the house with no jacket, hat or umbrella. I just looked at him. Should I be worried? Not today. As the elders have said for generations " A Hard Head Makes For a Soft Behind" - Praying as he learns these lessons the Hard Way!! I just pray I survive.