March 23, 2014: Everyone Needs a Ben Lane

"sick bro" (Ben's caption)
"wisdom teeth debacles" (My caption)
Last week I ran into Skutt High School in answer to a desperate plea from Ben. The nice ladies at the front desk know me well. Too well. This is my second son to go through Skutt and this last minute run into school was not my first rodeo.

In running tights and a stocking cap at 8:00 a.m., I presented myself and the goods requested by Ben to these fine ladies of Skutt.

"Well, hello, Mrs. Lane. What brings you in this morning?" was their greeting to me.

Obvious in their tone was that my parental presence was not a surprise. I handed over a signed permission slip for a Senior Studies jail visit that day. I went on to explain how Ben asked me at 7:30 a.m. to write on the back of an old envelope that he had my permission to go to the jail. I suspected this wouldn't cut it. It didn't.

The second part of the request was cash required for lunch on the field trip and a granola bar for him as he decided to give blood that morning. As I attempted to explain the items being handed off, the front desk gals just smiled.

"Everyone needs a Ben Lane, right?" I asked as I smiled back. We shared a laugh knowing that we would surely meet again soon. With less than two months left in Ben's high school career, no good byes were necessary between us yet. Never a dull moment with Ben.

When he got home that night, he was very thankful for my morning fly-by to Skutt. The jail visit was a success and he shared in detail his experience. The blood donation was a different story. Purportedly, one should not explain a failed attempt to self-pierce an ear as this limits blood donating for a period of time. Although there is no piercing visible in Ben's ear, obviously this was part of his medical history of which I was not aware.

The picture taken above was of Ben shortly after he had his wisdom teeth pulled, the day after the jail experience. I mistakenly thought that since the dentist was removing the teeth rather than an oral surgeon, it wasn't a big deal. After I casually picked up Ben from the dentist with a swollen mouth full of bloody gauze, I had to run a quick errand. Definitely a parental err in judgement, as I found him waiting in the car with blood dripping down his chin like a vampire.

"Sorry, Ben," I told him after accepting the faultiness in my decision-making. "Please don't write a book about me being a bad mom."

"700 page!" was all I could make out as Ben painfully mumbled while trying the contain the blood. After a trip to Walgreen's for fresh gauze, Gatorade, and a comfortable chair; all was forgotten and forgiven. The likelihood of a book on my past parental flaws is still a possibility though. The list is long.

The Lane Boys' Show was enjoyed first hand by Garrett this weekend. With over four years of hearing of the kid weekends that I ran solo, Garrett now knows my stories to be true. Never a dull moment. Garrett and I will now share all of our kid weekends together, both in Denver and in Omaha, as we have moved to our married schedule mode.

Garrett now understands my morning weekend routine. Upon awaking, I first look at my phone for missed calls and texts and then check out my window for Ben's parked car or extra cars. Relief ensues when I conclude my senior son arrived home safely. No need to gaze at his sleeping body through his bedroom door.

An added part to my routine is texting my oldest, Zach. A response to a morning text means my son, who is no longer under my watch, is safe as well. I don't always check in on Zach, but on occasion I need the reassurance. Does a parent ever stop worrying? I think probably not.

This morning Garrett got up early to work. Understanding my "counting heads routine" by day two, Garrett looked out the window and assured me that Ben was safely home. I later learned that Ben was able to personally verbalize this as he greeted Garrett's descent downstairs with a "good morning". Ben was finishing up Saturday night video gaming just as Garrett was beginning his day. Grant and three buddies were hibernating in another room.

In the quiet of sleeping teenagers, I have spent this morning typing in end of year calendars for my senior and 8th grader. The next two months will be packed with prom, track, lacrosse, confirmation, graduation, year-end socials and parties. Welcome to our world, Garrett Brucker. The Lane Boys' Show continues. I suspect next fall will feel quite a bit different. So for now, we will just enjoy the ride.


  1. Visiting jail for studying purposes is indeed a great experience. No wonder it was a successful event on your part. You seem to have had a very wonderful day because of that fulfilling experience and accomplishment. Thanks for sharing that, Sandy! All the best to you!

    Eliseo Weinstein @ JR's Bail Bonds


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