On the afternoon of the first day (Monday) of camp, Charlie was swinging on the swing when me he told me 'bye Mom' and suddenly expressed interest in taking a train ride.
On Tuesday, after a second successful day of camp -- really successful as Charlie started crying after being there less than an hour and then stayed for a couple more hours after talking on the phone to Jim (first time such a thing -- a phone conversation -- has helped) -- I dropped Charlie and Jim off at the Newark train station and said I'd meet them in a half-hour at our town's station.
There was no traffic getting out of downtown Newark and I thought I might have time to get gas.
Charlie wanted to get on the first train that appeared. It was an express and would take them two towns passed ours. No problem, Jim texted me, see you there!
The reliable local highway I pulled onto was a parking lot of millimeter-inching forward cars.
I am pretty sure I saw the train with Jim and Charlie on it zoom pass as I kept my foot on the brake.
Jim and Charlie got to the town two towns over from ours while I was barely out of Newark.
Due to an issue, Jim could not get tickets back to our town.
Jim and Charlie started walking.
I continued to move by centimeters.
Charlie said 'Mom. Mom. Mom. MOM.' As in, right now Mom will be here or --
Jim called me and I talked to Charlie, first strung out then warily calmer, on the phone.
I saw police sirens whirling ahead.
I didn't see any police cars but was finally driving more than 0.1 miles an hour.
I did what is called 'gunning the engine.'
I hit very few red lights.
I did observe the speed limit.
I spotted Jim and Charlie at a familiar green and white gas station and pulled in, bumping over the curve.
Charlie paced for nearly an hour, working through lag before an evening bike ride. Jim read the news on the couch.
Charlie asked to go out for various food items after the ride.
That is, Charlie was nervous.
We said we'd go tomorrow and that we three stick together.
Jim started planning the next train ride.