While I was out running some errands this morning, I got an automated phone call from Anna's school. It simply said that she was absent today and would I kindly send in a written excuse explaining the reason for her absence when she comes back. That wasn't the problem. The problem was that I put Anna on the bus myself this morning. And if she wasn't at school, where was she??
I ran to the car and drove down to the school, trying not to panic. I calmly walked into the office and told them why I was there...that my daughter was marked absent, but I had put her on the bus this morning. First, they wouldn't say a word until they had seen my ID card and made sure that I was on the "authorized" list of people that were allowed information about Anna. The list that I personally filled out. Then they called down to her classroom and talked to her teacher (but they wouldn't let me talk to her) and she confirmed that Anna was in class...her bus had just arrived late and they has already recorded attendance for the day. I only felt marginally better. I kind of got short with the secretaries and told them I WASN'T LEAVING UNTIL I ACTUALLY SAW HER. So they called Anna's teacher back and told her to send Anna down to the office. About 20 seconds later, Anna comes bounding around the corner and into the office. I couldn't get her in my arms quickly enough. I quickly told her what had happened and why I was worried.
She looked up at me with her brown eyes and said, "Hey mom, can I have some gum?"
I'd have given her about anything right then. Thank goodness she only wanted gum.