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Weekend Life

Tales from the Motherhood: When mother calls, nature beckons

Noah and his buddies recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime fishing trip to Northern Ontario. They enjoyed gorgeous views, rustic quarters, cleaning and frying fresh fish on a nearby island every day for lunch, moose-sightings and card-playing during their down-time.

Sounds like bliss, doesn’t it? It was, until nature called. And I don’t mean “Mother Nature” and that potentially terrifying trek to the outhouse during the wee hours.

No, I mean “mother” – nature. Yes, I finally caved and made the call. The “did you arrive alive, or were you abducted by aliens – or worse?” call.

The boys didn’t travel alone, of course. They were very generously and expertly chaperoned by one boy’s dad and his uncle. But when, late one night, another mom texted to see if I’d heard anything from Noah (he’d last texted early that morning to say that they were leaving their hotel in Canada for the airport, where they would board a puddle-jumper bound for camp), my mind did the mom-thing. You know, the “how well do I really know these guys (their chaperones)?” And the “What have I done?” thing. That got old quickly.

I knew they wouldn’t have cell reception at camp but also knew that none of us moms would sleep a wink ’til we heard that they’d made it, so yes, at 10:15 p.m. I finally caved, dug up the camp’s phone number, took one for the team and made the call. Yes, I am that mom.

John, the owner of the camp, assured me that they were fine. And I assured him I wouldn’t call again.
Someone probably would have, eventually, gotten around to dropping us a line. By Noah’s account, that’s actually what happened. Apparently coincidentally, mere moments after I phoned the camp, he e-mailed from his phone:

“Hey, I can’t text anyone but today I caught nine fish. Six pike and one walleye. I had the biggest fish with a five-pound, 30-inch pike.”

A chorus of angels sang in my heart. I’m not sure what pleased me more, that I found him alive in the wilderness or that he was happy.

But I rather like my version of the story.

I decided that John, a third-generation owner of the camp, has dealt with worried wives and mothers over the years. I figured he worried I’d be on the next puddle-jumper into camp – let alone flying the darned thing myself  – if he didn’t high-tail it over to Noah’s cabin and light a fire under him to  contact me.

The thought still makes me giggle. We’d all joked about what the boys might encounter on their trip. They think bears are scary? Try a psychotic-with-worry mom. (They don’t call us Mama-bears for nothing, do they, ladies?)

Noah e-mailed me a few more times that week; brief replies to my annoying mom queries: “Wearing sunscreen? Drinking water?”

Finally I said, “Listen, you gotta gimme more than one- word answers so I don’t suspect you’ve been abducted by someone pretending to be you, OK?”

I also told him that my phone’s screen shattered one morning as we walked Jake, after I dropped it onto Holly’s foot and it bounced onto the sidewalk.

“Get the GS4,” was all he said, in his next e-mail.

That one line told me everything I needed to know. I had no doubt it was my tech-savvy son.
Like I said, I am that mom.

Poor Noah, he’s probably still being teased about that call. I just hope he got a picture of that fish.

• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at

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