Five minutes of terror

Cedar called me at 4:55 p.m. yesterday when I was at work. She was home, and the Milaca police had called looking for the parent or guardian of Leif Larson.

I hung up and called the Milaca Police station, but I got a recording so I hung up and called 911, setting off some kind of alarm on all the phones in the Messenger office.

I told the dispatcher I was Leif’s dad, and the Milaca police were looking for me, then nearly gave her the wrong phone number, I was so flustered. She said they’d contact the Milaca cops and get back to me.

So I waited. Leif had stayed after school for safety patrol, and then was going to a friend’s house to play football. I could imagine all kinds of things, mostly horrible, life-as-we-know-it-ending scenarios — blood on the sidewalk, twisted limbs, spiderweb cracks in windshields.

Well, the cop called at 5 p.m., and it turned out Leif had accidentally broken someone’s side mirror in the parking lot of his friend’s apartment building. He was fine, but the owner of the car wanted to talk to us.

I’ve had several of those heart-stopping moments during 13 years of parenting. I hope that’s the last one, but I suspect it isn’t.


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