Friday, June 23, 2006
Nicholas' Big Adventure
As I dropped Nicholas at Art Camp, he told me "I'll be getting myself home today."
"Are you sure? I'm not sure about that," I told him. "What's you're plan for getting through the Tube?"
"I'll take the bus. I'll put my bike on the bus, go through the Tube, then bike the rest of the way home."
The Tube is the Posey Tube, which I think is the first underwater tunnel ever. It was built about a hundred years ago, and it links Alameda with Oakland. You saw a glimpse of it in the movie Matrix II just before the freeway chase.
Anyway, is my 12 year old ready to travel 7 miles via bike and bus from gentle Alameda through the heart of downtown Oakland and onward all the way to the Berkeley border? Am I ready to trust that he'll manage it safely, and that the world will allow it?
But we did it anyway.
I worried about him for two hours, while trying not to worry. Rather, I cast forth "Nicholas is safe, Nicholas is alert, Nicholas is doing his very best and the world is supporting him" energy.
He got on the right bus. He left his bike on the bus when he got off in downtown to go see his mom, but the driver waited for him to realize and come back for it. Thank you, AC Transit driver! In downtown, Nick couldn't get past security to go see his mom at her office. By now he's a bit frazzled, and he gets on the right bus line, but going the wrong way. As he passed the seedy motel we'd stayed in several weeks ago, he realized he was going the wrong way and transferred again. From there it was clear sailing, if a bit frustrating that the entire journey took nearly two hours.
When I got home after work and checked on him, he was fast asleep. When he woke up, he was still emotionally fried. The evening ended with Xena coming home late and soothing him down (as only a mother's love can).
We've had a few conversations about the whole thing, and I thought that was that.
But he's doing it again today.
Posted by Robert van de Walle