Friday 21st December 10.30pm: David and I are really, really tired.
Knowing we would have a late night picking up Matthew from the airport on the following night, we had turned in early. By 10.30 it was lights out and we were sound asleep. We were blissfully unaware that at that very moment his flight back from the Uni ski trip was landing at Luton.
For Matt the next hour and half was a series of frantic phone calls to us, to his sister, to three other friends in Rugby and obviously many, many times to our home phone and both mobiles. None of which we heard.
Eventually at ten to midnight, he sent a friend to bang on the door sufficiently long enough to set the dog off barking and rouse me from sleep.
‘What the hell’ and other words to that effect, came to mind. I didn’t open the door but I did get up and go down stairs which is why I finally heard my mobile phone ringing.
‘WHERE ARE YOU??? bellowed a clearly very anxious Matthew, ‘I was about to call the police, I thought you were dead’
‘I’m in my study/I’m in my pyjamas/I’m in a state of shock’ were all answers that went through my head in the milliseconds before I replied equally loudly. ‘It’s FRIDAY, where are YOU???’
Best to draw a veil over the next 10 minutes, suffice to say that within 10 minutes David and I were both up, dressed and driving to Luton airport (neither of us trusted the other to go alone).
The ‘happy family reunion’ Matt had fondly imagined and even saved a photo for on his disposable camera, was more of 10 second pit stop on a roundabout: ‘stop, slap and go’! (Okay so I didn’t slap him, but I was tempted)
Poor Matt! Omitting to tell your folks that it was only a 6 day ski trip and failing to text in advance is worthy of several Captain Mannering’s ‘You Stupid Boy’!
Poor us! The reason we were so deeply asleep was because we were exhausted (meanwhile people on Facebook were discussing our disappearance!)
However, revenge is sweet. We have one consolation (two, counting the fact that the boy is home in one piece) and that is that Matt now finally knows the full horror of how it feels when someone you love isn’t where you are expecting them to be and isn’t answering their phone! Oh, how many times did I go through that experience in their teens.
In his defence, he was very tired and very hungry and bursting to tell us all about his brilliant holiday, all of which accounted for his panic. Emma, from the far end of the country, took a much more laconic view of the crisis: ‘So the Mayan apocalypse hasn’t come to Sidney Road after all’ she texted once we were on our way, adding ‘next time we’ll need to remember you take out your hearing aids when you go to bed’. Cheeky madam.
Matthew’s going to have to do some mega chores to make up for this boo boo. But at least I can say it has added a whole new level of meaning to the phrase ‘wake up call’ as in something that requires immediate attention.
Jesus spoke about the need for servants to be ready when the master returns, and how happy are those he finds awake and waiting even in the wee small hours. We pray ‘Come Lord Jesus’ but do we mean it? Are we ready to respond?