What a day yesterday. DS (a young 13 year old) wanted to go to into the City with his friend. Now. He has never been without me and although his friend is very trustworthy I started to worry about his ability to catch the right train find his way round the city staying together etc. I wouldn't normally have been so touchy but it was a rugby international Saturday so the trains are heaving and the city is bouncing. I should never have let him go in hindsight however they were going early enough and said they would return before the rugby finished (thank god for late kick offs!)
Anyway he text to say they had managed to get on a train and let it slip that they were with "some girls". Ok I thought girls are usually a bit more mature and the more of them the better.
However it started to get dark about 4.30 so text DS to find out what time coming home. His reply was along the lines of "no idea". Queue me starting to panic. So I rang (Yes I know I'm probably going over the top but it's a big city, he has no idea of his bearings, the sheer volume of people in the city on International day can make anyone feel a little nervous especially if they get caught up in the crowds and lose their friends - and yes this is all in my head).
They were in Winter Wonderland which is a fair trek from the station. So I checked the train times to find that extra trains were being put on as usual on an International day but the trains were running 45 mins late and were taking an hour at least to come back to our town as they were running through all the local stations due to high numbers of people returning/going into City.
It's an awful situation to be in [for me that is]; he had told me he was cold as he didn't want to ice skate and his mate and all the girls were skating for an hour and I then found out they'd only gone so his friend could meet up with one of the girls. I'm pretty sure he was bored and I know he was hungry as even though he had money he doesn't like fast food! I was torn between driving up to find him, or leaving him there to find his own way back and also panicking that he wouldn't make it back or get lost or I don't know what all together.
I text him and told him the train times and that they would have to leave Winter Wonderland half an hour before the train was due in order to catch the one that should have taken the quickest route back.
As always they managed to catch the correct train which despite my fears was completely quiet as the game had 20 mins left to play out. However they did take nearly an hour to get back. I picked them up from the station.
Now yes I am a neurotic mother and my mind is probably over active but if it hadn't been international/dark/his first time in the City alone/25 miles away then I'm sure I would have been fine.
In the cold light of day I was an embarrassment to him. If that had been his sister she would have turned off her phone or ignored many of the texts until it was time to come back. Poor boy. I do hope I calm down before he wants to go out again!