I sent my 15 year old with a friend to Salt Lake City on April 1st to the AP tour with Black Veil Brides. It’s an eight hour drive from here. They’d been planning the trip since last fall.
I did the responsible thing and talked to the step-mother who was driving them. She’d had surgery for breast cancer a couple of weeks earlier, but she said she felt fine and that she wouldn’t go if she wasn’t sure she’d be okay.
And everything was okay until I called my daughter at 10:00 to see how the concert went.
The concert went well. Everything else had gone horribly wrong.
The step-mother popped pills the entire trip.
And started swerving into other lanes and cars. Pulled off on the left side of the interstate to put her head in her hands. They made it into the city and parked outside a hotel.
The girls jumped out of the car and refused to get back in. They called the dad who called the step-mother. They left everything in the car and found a ride to the concert without her. She was “throwing a fit” in the car.
They talked to the hotel employees and asked that they go out to the car to check on her. They called an ambulance and she spent the next 24 hours in the hospital.
Meanwhile the girls had no money, no clothes, but somehow found a place to stay for the night. The plan had been to stay at an uncle’s house. Apparently he wasn’t even home.
I called the dad. He was trying to find them plane tickets home, but since my daughter has no ID he wasn’t sure she could even get on a plane. He was going to just buy the tickets and HOPE that she could pass security. Leaving her in the airport alone if she couldn’t.
We spent the next hour finding out if she could get on a plane and then I told him to buy the tickets. He said that he had called the stepmother around 4:00 and that she was “incoherent.” His word, not mine. Incoherent. He was very angry. He drives for a living and didn’t have any idea she was taking pills. Oh, and she just got out of rehab for alcoholism. I don’t supposed parents say these things when they’re trying to show how responsible they will be with my child in their car. No, let’s skip the part about rehab.
The girls came back the next afternoon. Dirty. Smelly. Stressed out.
The stepmother arrived sometime after that.
And told her husband that it was the GIRLS who were high and needed to be drug tested. She offered my daughter a ride home from school (which she was smart enough to decline) and told her she was coming down to TALK to me.
Talk to me? Tell me my daughter was high? What? EVEN IF the girls were high, that has nothing to do with her driving or being taken to the hospital, or leaving my child in a strange city on the street. She hasn’t shown up yet, but I DARE her to come to my door and tell me she didn’t do anything.
The facts that I KNOW for sure are true are that she was in the hospital overnight. And that her husband said she was incoherent.
So if she comes to my door I’m going to say STOP RIGHT THERE. Do you know what I do for work? Do you really think you can lie to me and I won’t know that you’re an addict who endangered my child? Run. Run away.
When my daughter showed up at my door, and the dad sped away without coming in to talk to me like he said he wanted to, I had her say outloud:
I LOVE MY FAMILY AND YOU GUYS WOULD NEVER DO THIS TO ME.
And she’s been really good ever since.
But since I can’t tell if other parents are responsible or not I have a new rule:
MY CHILDREN WILL NOT GO ANYWHERE WITH ANYONE EXCEPT ME THAT I DON’T WANT TO DRIVE TO, TO SAVE THEIR ASS.