I forgot to pick up my oldest child from school yesterday.
Shocking, you say? Nah, not really. Not the first time I'd forgotten him. I'm not terribly proud of that fact, but it's relevant to the story ahead.
It's about a mile to walk home - but when he walked in the back door, he says, "Mom?" And my immediate response was, "OH CRAP." And "Hey, was it raining on your way home?" "Glad you're here, sorry I forgot about you, but I did get that t-shirt quilt finished I'd been promising you for two years finished this afternoon!"
I went downstairs to give him a guilt-hug and he hugged me extra tight. "Mom, I was so worried about you, I was just sure that when I walked in the door there would be a note saying 'we had to take mom to the hospital'." He said he worried about 3/4 of the way home. I asked him if now that he knew the whole story was he mad at me for forgetting him - he said no, still just relieved.
We went about our normal afternoon routines - questions (from him) about snack food and questions (from me) about homework. About ten minutes later, I realized something.
"Why didn't you just call me, you do have your phone with you, right?"
"Yeah, but I thought if there were intruders then it wouldn't really...."
And then I realized. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Because I can imagine up some really crazy terrible stuff if I want to. But I always justify it by telling myself that if I imagine it, it won't happen, so it's really the most responsible thing to do, imagining the worst.