July 12, 2004:Diary Entry

What a rocky and interesting adventure life can become if you notice the messages. Although we all have blind spots and biases on what we notice.

My 14 year-old daughter ran off joyriding in my car and ran it off the road. It may be totaled.

I am in Washington DC right now opening our first ever Alaska Native Health Board Legislative Office on Capitol Hill – in the same building as Charlie Palmer’s Restaurant. My daughter was supposed to be staying at her friends house while I am out of town. Obviously, they both stayed at my house instead.

This is how I found out something was wrong. I got a text message along the lines of: ‘Mom, I have something to tell you. But no, I’m not pregnant, this is WAYYYY worse!’

Whaaatttt the ##*@)@)(!(!@? Worse than pregnant?

There are moments of absolute helplessness. Being a single mother, on travel status for work, clear across the country from Anchorage, Alaska and receiving this texts tops that list right now.

After hours of begging, threatening, negotiating, everything I could muster to convince her to tell me, she did. She wrecked my car. After she stole it. After she and her girlfriend lied that they would be with her girlfriend’s family. Still, knowing they were not injured and did not injure anyone else, was a huge sense of relief.

I called her dad, even though he hasn’t had a relationship with her ever before.

I called him today and said, “Do you know what your daughter did???” He responded, “14 years later, and this is the phone call you make?” He was laughing, as was I actually.

I told him I needed his help to get the car towed, etc. I let him know she was over at her friend’s house and safe.

Now, when I get back home in a few days, she is going to stay with him and her younger two sisters that he is now raising on his own.