"I don't like talking to people," D1 said as we got into the car to make our way to the STATE university for her week-long Summer Science Academy.
"I know," I nodded. "Neither do I most of the time, but I do it anyway."
We had this conversation a dozen times on our way there.
And just before I left her for the week, we had that conversation again.
And she hugged me like she used to hug me before she got all cool and teenagery and stuff.
And I came this -><- a="" an="" baby="" back="" campus="" cannot="" car="" close="" et="" flippin="" for="" i="" in="" leave="" my="" on="" p="" saying="" the="" to="" university="" week.="" whole="">
But I didn't.
I snapped a picture of her being teenagery instead and walked her to the commons where she said, "I don't like talking to new people." I nodded. Because I couldn't talk, I nodded.
Then I left her with a couple of other girls and a college mentor where they began discussing and cussing The Fault in Our Stars, both the book and the movie.
I choked back tears and threatened the lump in my throat to stay where it was as I waited for the elevator. If I could just get on the elevator and make my way down the four flights, I'd be good.
I stepped into the elevator and pressed 1. Then I bit my lip and told myself to pull it together. I could still hear the group talking about how sweet Gus and Hazel were and how hard they cried when he just wasn't in the movie/book anymore.
And then I pressed 1 again, but I wasn't moving.
And I pressed it again and again and again. When it was clear after thirty-two presses that I wasn't moving, I pressed the door open button. Nothing. I pressed it repeatedly a dozen times. Nothing. I pressed every button to no avail. I ran my hand down the button area ala Buddy The Elf and got nothing. I even pressed the alarm. It made a lame ding, ding, ding sound. I barely even heard it.
Finally, I called the campus help line. Since it was Sunday, I got an automated system that promptly hung up on me. Twice. I pressed the elevator help button and got this sound: Wah Wah Wah. So, I pulled the director's number from my back pocket and called her. Right after she promised to get me out, the electricity went out.
So, I Instagrammed it.
I also took a selfie (which showed just how black it was), and I texted everyone I know.
This is the response from my hubby who was still at D2's softball tournament (they won, BTW):
So much for concern from the father of the baby I was abandoning at summer camp!
Finally, twenty minutes later, a campus policeman showed up and struggled at manually opening the door. I would have helped him, but I was in the middle of a text to my friend, Denise.
I bolted down the stairs and sped away. I texted D1 to take the stairs the whole week. And then I drove away. I let my baby and her mandatory-stair-climbing dorm go.
When we were making summer plans, we had inadvertently scheduled D1 and D2 for camp at the same time. Initially, I was worried. Then I was excited. Some alone time for momma? Yes. I just had no idea it would come so quickly ... or in hot, dark elevator.