August 17, 2006

Finding his way

Last night before I went to bed, I went in to say good night to the kids. Boy in Black was sitting on the floor with his brand new laptop computer, loading onto it all the important things he might need for college, like every song that Bob Dylan ever recorded and every episode of Futurama. He was fascinated with the GPS (Global Positioning System) that came with the computer. "Look, the computer knows exactly where we are. See the map?"

I find that kind of technology creepy, but Boy in Black loves it.

"Watch, I'll put in an address and it'll tell me how to get there."

He typed in FirstExtra's address, and sure enough, a map to his house popped up on the screen. It's a neighborhood I've known my whole life, but how strange that this computer could provide such precise directions. Of course, I can't imagine what Boy in Black is going to use the GPS for, since he is going to Snowstorm University and he has lived in Snowstorm region his whole life. Perhaps he is planning to hike with the laptop? That seems kind of inconvenient.

As I stared at the map on the screen, that familiar neighborhood, I remembered the first September that Boy in Black was in kindergarten. He'd made a friend right away, and we had invited him over, and we were driving to pick up the new friend. Boy in Black assured me he knew how to get to the friend's house.

He gave me careful directions: "Turn right. Wait a minute at this corner. Turn right." He spoke with such confidence that I didn't question his directions at all, until I noticed that we seemed to be going up and down every street, crisscrossing the neighborhood methodically, stopping at every corner.

"Boy in Black! Are you sure you know where the house is?" I asked. I am terrible at directions myself, but even I could see that the route we were taking was pretty circuitous.

He looked at me, surprised, but with the complete self-assurance of a five-year-old.

"This is the right way," he said, "It's how the school bus goes."

30 comments:

pPB said...

That's so awesome. Of course it's how the school bus goes!

You're going to miss him, aren't you? But don't worry. He can use the gps thing to find his way to your office!

Chip said...

that's funny. One day when I was in kindergarten I decided to walk home from school rather than take the school bus. And I did the exact same thing, following the very long, circuitous route the school bus took through the village and eventually into my neighborhood, rather than the direct route. I still remember seeing my mom, who must have been very worried, walking toward me as I approached our street.

Anyway, this whole childhood thing goes by so fast doesn't it. I still can't believe my baby is in high school, and am definitely not ready for her to leave for college in a few years!

landismom said...

That is a great story! I can't imagine having one of my kids ready to leave for college--I'm not even ready to let them walk to school by themselves yet!

RLT said...

That is so funny...and kind of prophetic, as well.

It's amazing the difference in aptitude that can exist when it comes to directions. My sister and I found our way all over Europe with maps while we were in college. But my older daughter rarely has a clue about where she is - even when she's driven herself there.

nancy said...

Smiling. That really made me smile.

Leslee said...

Gee Jo(e), I'm going to miss these stories when he goes away to college! I hope he comes home to visit you often!

frog said...

Ha!

comebacknikki said...

That's so cute. :)

RageyOne said...

LOL! What a great story!

Linda (FM) said...

What a great story.

Yankee, Transferred said...

AWW, how cute. Just adorable. Oh dear, you're going to miss him.

Girl said...

Heh...when i was in kindergarten I somehow convinced the school bus driver to let me off a the end of my street so i could walk home (my sister is 5 years older than me and was allowed to walk the 5 blocks home from school...kindergarteners were required to take the bus--I must have seen my sister walking and wanted to be just as independent). My parents FLIPPED out! So I am not sure how I convinced the bus driver to let me out at my friends house the very next day.

Needless to say, I was a very stressful kid.

Kathryn said...

Great story. I specially love the pauses at bus stops that BiB included in his route :-) I've still got a month before TeaThaim Girl follows Boy in Black's example and heads off to university...but am thinking of you, with TONS of fellow feeling.xx

Mona Buonanotte said...

BiB is one smart kid!

cloudscome said...

LOL that's a great story. He is good with directions after all! I have to say I am envious of you, knowing exactly where he is going to be. My oldest is leaving for college for the first time in a week. He will be 1300 miles away from me and about three blocks from where Katrina made landfall. Where did I go wrong here?

And is it too late to have one of those GPS thingies implanted?

revabi said...

Oh what a delight. Are you sure he needs a GPS thingie?

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Aww, that just charmed me all to pieces.

Shelly said...

Ha ha! I love it. That's an adorable story.

My husband has a GPS. He drives me *crazy* on road trips looking at that thing while he is driving. I am the ultimate map freak and navigator. I do not like being usurped by the GPS. ;)

molly said...

It's nice that there's GPS in cars and in computers, but don't you wish we could have our kids equipped with some kind of remote GPS for all those times they forget to call, forget to check in, so we could know where they were, and that they were OK?

Silver Creek Mom said...

That's a wonderful story. I'm sure I will have some to say about Miranda when she does move out and goes away to University...She's thinking about 3 hours away. Not horrible but far enough she will not be living here.

Let me know how you do, I may need some hand holding when the time comes. I be here for you whenever you need it.

SuzanH said...

This is a great story!

I'm also leery of the whole tracking thing, except when I'm lost or going somewhere new- then it's my favorite thing ever.

It reminds me of when I'd take my grandmother to visit her friends - "Just keep driving down this street. I'll recognize the curtains."

Marie said...

What a great story! How are you doing with the idea of him going off to college? We in the blogosphere are sure going to miss him!

jo(e) said...

Molly: That's what cell phones are for. It's nice to be able to call no matter where the kid is.

Marie: It's going to be hard having both my older two off at college. The problem is that they are both so such wonderful people that I really love having them in the house. It's hard to let go ....

Camera Obscura said...

If the GPS freaks you, don't ever use the satellite option on Google Maps...

Mommy off the Record said...

What a wonderful vignette. I loved it. Thanks for visiting my blog and introducing me to your site.

liz said...

Such a smartie pants he was (and is).

Didja notice you're 508 people away from 200,000?

jo(e) said...

Liz: Hey, you're right. I should hit 200 sometime tomorrow. That's pretty cool.

BeachMama said...

That is the cutest story, I just love how smart he was even as a 5 year old.

Courtnay said...

Jo(e), I have to tell you that the part about Boy in Black from kindergarten is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. I was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my cheeks, my mascara ran and dripped all over my shirt and I don't even care. I found your blog from a link in one of Catherine Newman's columns at BabyCenter and have been reading and watching for a few weeks now. I really enjoy your stories - in fact, so much that I am actually commmenting. I have been reading quite a few blogs for well over a year now and this is the first time I have ever felt compelled to comment. Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories.

jo(e) said...

Courtnay: Thanks for the compliment. Perhaps you will be starting a blog soon?

I mean, once you've delurked, it's only a matter of time ....