The Key to Saving an Absentminded Son

I was always there for my forgetful son, but what could I do for him this time?

by - Posted on Apr 13, 2017

The Key to Saving an Absentminded Son

I stood on the pier and watched the colorful sail of my 20-year-old son Rudy’s boat disappear from sight, feeling nervous. My husband, Marty, and I had driven an hour to Ice Harbor Marina on the Snake River for a walk—and to keep an eye on our son. Rudy was a good sailor, but he was notoriously absentminded, always misplacing his keys, wallet, checkbook, you name it. So far we’d always had his back, but we never knew what might happen next.

He’ll be fine today, I reassured myself. Rudy had his friend with him, and they’d launched with no problems. It was a beautiful day; the breeze was light, the water calm. They had everything they needed.

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Still, I’m a mother. Worrying is my responsibility. I sent up a silent prayer for a safe and trouble-free outing.

Marty and I strolled along the waterfront for an hour and made our way to the boat ramp. There was Rudy’s boat, back from its cruise, hitched to his Dodge. The car was running… but no one was inside. What was going on? Where was Rudy?

Just then we turned and saw him and his friend running towards us. “Mom, Dad, I was looking for you everywhere,” Rudy said. “Do you have the spare key to my car? I locked myself out when I went to tie down the boat.”

My stomach flipped. The spare key was at home, an hour away. We couldn’t leave his car running on the boat ramp that long. Other boats needed the ramp. How in the world were we going to get Rudy out of this predicament?

Praying for an answer, I dug around in my purse and pulled out a key—the one to our Jeep. Before I could say anything, Rudy grabbed it and stuck it in the lock.

The front door swung open. Rudy tossed back the key with a grin on his face. “Thanks, Mom,” he said. “You always have my back!”

I’ve heard stories that sometimes a key to one car can work for another. But no matter how many times I’ve tried, my key never worked to open Rudy’s car again.

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