The Beautiful Letdown, Part 1: The Missing Brain

Ah, the joy of  parenting young adults! Their bodies and brains are still changing, growing and maturing. I had planned to pick my son up from school at 3:00, pick my daughter up from her school at 3:30 and then get the Nissan so my son could drive it home.

All was going exactly according to plan as I pulled into the school parking lot at 2:55. At 3:20, after watching nearly every child in that school leave, I texted him and asked him “Why am I still sitting in the school parking lot?” No response. At 3:35, I again texted him: “WHERE ARE YOU!?”  Again no response. Finally, at 3:45, I receive a text: “I am so sorry.” I looked up and there he was, sheepishly walking toward the truck.

“I have been waiting for 45 minutes! What were you doing?”

I was doing my best to stay calm. Perhaps he had been studying or was spending time with a teacher after class getting extra tutoring during office hours and lost track of the time. How could I be upset with that???

But then came the answer; the mind-boggling, befuddling, exasperating answer. With his head down, he quietly muttered “Dodge ball.”


I felt a little like Steve Martin in the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles after he got off the bus to pick up his nonexistent rental car in a far away parking lot at the Dallas airport in the snow! I want to bite his head off but…

I have to keep my cool because I am “the loving, understanding, mature parent” and he is the “adolescent whose brain is still forming.”

So, I said…


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