The middle school Shannon goes to has a myriad of activities after school. Primarily on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So on those days there is a late bus to take kids home. But it doesn't take them home, it drops at the grade schools. So the theory is they can be dropped off there and then walk home. The only problem is it leaves the school at 4:30 and in the winter it is getting dark by then.
So Shannon was auditioning for something and I couldn't get there quite in time to pick her up, so we decided she would take the late bus and I would pick her up from the grade school. She asked me to pick her up at a different grade school from the one she attended, one that is actually a little closer to our house.
I went to the school and was talking on the phone while I was parked, waiting. After a minute or two, I started to wonder where the bus was. So I hung up and started to dial her number when she called me. I answered and she says, "mommy, I tried to walk home and now I'm lost." which of course made my heart sink. I should point out that we live in a very safe area, but there had just been two armed robberies in the area and in one of them someone got hurt. So I immediately started the car and asked her where she was, all the while praying that she's one a street I know. But she said, "I don't know. There's no street sign close by." Now, I have a rough idea where she is, because where the school is, there really is only one direction she can go in. I told her to walk toward the closest corner and read the sign to me, and I took a guess and started down a street. I told her what street I was on and she said she was on the same street but she couldn't see me. Probably because it was totally dark by then. I told her the name of the cross street I was approaching and she said that was where she was. I finally see her, pulled over and she got in. And I read her the riot act, asking her what she was thinking, etc. And she started crying and said she just wanted to see if she could find her way. Which I explained was an incredibly stupid thing to do AT NIGHT.
Later, she had church club and we picked up her friend. Her mom said, "You're not going to believe what my daughter did. She was supposed to call me from the school to pick her up, but she walked home alone in the dark!" Of course she was smart enough to get dropped of at the grade school she went to, so she knew the way home.
Oh, and they caught the robbers.