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Not So Cool Anymore

Friday, January 6, 2012




The adventures of a wandering son. Here's the first part.
Cole called me today. "Mom, how do I get an epi-pen?"
Oh this was not going to be a good conversation. We found out Cole was severely allergic to bees when he was in first grade. The school had called. He had been stung by a honey bee and his face had begun to swell. By the time I got to the school, which was across the street, he was going into shock. We raced him to the doctor's office and they whisked him away. I wasn't aware of it at the time, but my son was dying. His system was shutting down from the allergic reaction. He hasn't been without his trusted epi-pen since. If he gets stung again he removes the stopper from the vial and jabs the pen on to his thigh. The pressure releases the needle and epinephrine is released into his system giving us enough time to get him to a hospital.
"Cole, you have to have a prescription for one. You need to go the doctor and ask for one before you go."
He informed me that he thought that was stupid and that he had an old one he could take. I'm imagining this fast-food encased, gunk covered, shattered epi-pen. Ok so now I'm going to get hives.
"Oh, and by the way, our plans have changed."
Stay calm, I tried to remind myself. Oh this isn't sounding good. My mom instincts are telling me to sit down and hold on to something, anything, it's gonna be a bumpy phone call.
"We're hitchhiking to Vegas instead!"
I was right, it's gonna get worse before it gets better. Seems Smart Boy and his sidekick, Brilliant Kid, are leaving tomorrow. Hitchhiking to Vegas. Through the desert, Death Valley to be exact. My suburban raised son and his friend in the desert with desert creatures like rattlesnakes and scorpions scares more than just a little bit. This is a kid that stole acorns from a wild squirrel, and was attacked by one pissed off nut-less animal.
Then he tells me the best part. When they leave Vegas, they're going to go "up through Arizona.” Just like that train he thought was going to California he had once jumped that was actually gong to Montana. Oh Good God! I think I did a pretty good job at remaining calm, partly because I couldn't speak and partly because he's going to do it anyway. This way, he'll call me when, if, there's a problem. He did agree to call me at every major town and then he left me with the spine-chilling phrase "that way you can call the police if we don't call when we should.” Great thing to tell a mom, especially one that fights anxiety under the best of circumstances.
On one hand, I am excited for him. It'll be an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. On the other hand I have this feeling that I'll see him on a new Las Vegas episode of "COPS,” and I guess that would be a good thing compared to all the other dreadful things a mom's mind can conjure up.
He said he'll be gone for about 4 weeks. I hope I can last that long, and I hope he takes a camera.


14 comments:

YeamieWaffles January 6, 2012 at 4:24 PM  

Your son sounds like an incredible guy. I love this stuff, can't wait to read more.

Susan January 6, 2012 at 4:41 PM  

My newphew and a couple of friends wanted to go to Brazil and bum around for a couple of weeks last summer. I thought it sounded like fun. He had been there for two years serving a mission for our church so he knew the language and culture. Well that couple of weeks turned into an epic five month adventure. They ended up buying motercycles and riding all over South America. When they got tired of the fun they rode those bikes all the way home to Utah. They had the adventure of a lifetime but I think they shortened their parents' live by a few years. I hope he is safe.

The Bipolar Diva January 6, 2012 at 4:45 PM  

Cole's a traveling kind of kid. He's always been my wanderer. Even when he was a tiny tike about 4 he would tell me he was going to hike across Australia. Now that he's married with a baby, i think his "walk abouts" will be confined to do laps at the park, or exploring downtown Portland with the kid in a back pack instead of a sleeping bag!

angel shrout January 6, 2012 at 5:03 PM  

Yikes you are handling this much better then I would.. umm yeah you are. Have fun, be safe, call mom so she doesn't worry...don't make us come whoop on ya

jen January 6, 2012 at 5:08 PM  

He sounds just like Brad's brother Dan. He's had the greatest adventures, a few misadventures, but they've mostly built character (and left a few cool-looking scars, I might add).

Snowbrush January 6, 2012 at 5:20 PM  

"This is a kid that stole acorns from a wild squirrel..."

If you had fed the poor kid, he might have found life a bit more convenient. I saw anaphylactic shock one day when Peggy had a reaction to an allergy shot, and it was damn clear to me that this woman would have been dead very, very soon if she hadn't still been in the doctor's office, so I don't get why you didn't realize the severity of the situation. I can but assume that he wasn't in shock yet.

Rob-bear January 6, 2012 at 5:23 PM  

Um, well, but — is he taking his child with him on this adventure? Or, even better, wife and child?
NO?
Hmmmm. Let me guess. He's leaving wife and baby in your care while he meanders about the country.
That's enough to get a Bear's nose twitching.
Can you say "responsibility," Cole? Well, maybe.
Or maybe I'm just an old, old-fashioned Bear.
Sigh.
Maybe I'm just getting way too old for this.

Mad Mind January 6, 2012 at 6:21 PM  

I think Cole and I would get along famously. I love that spirit.

The Bipolar Diva January 6, 2012 at 8:59 PM  

yeah Snow, we fed him on occasion. I realized how serious it was after we found out he was allergic to bees. It seems the first sting there's no problem, it's the second sting that gets you.

The Bipolar Diva January 6, 2012 at 9:00 PM  

Bear, all this was about 3 years ago, way before wife and baby. He's cooled his walking heels, well, for now.

Just Two Chicks January 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM  

LOL... Those COPS episodes crack me up... I've bogged about those before. I like the adventurous side of him!! Maybe he got it all out of his system before the baby and wife? :)

Tami Miller January 8, 2012 at 4:04 PM  

I certainly hope he got the EPI pen BEFORE he left!

Pat January 8, 2012 at 8:16 PM  

Although this sounds exciting from a KID'S point-of-view, it's a MOTHER'S nightmare! Ha ha1

Mrs. One Day January 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM  

I hope you can just do your best to not worry. I have no idea how hard that would be not being a parent myself, but I guess there's nothing else you can do.

I'll keep an eye out on COPS for him ;)

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