09/05/2012 08:57 am ET

Road Trip Tests A Boy's Bravery Without Mom -- Or His Teddy

A tottering old bus, something of a chicken coop on wheels, screeched to a stop where I waited hand-in-hand with my mother. I was about to take my first trip alone, a 20-mile expedition from Guthrie Center to Hamlin.

Noting my fingernail biting, Mom pulled my hand from my mouth. “Everything will be fine,” she said. “There’s nothing to worry about.”

I took my mother’s reassuring words as gospel. In all my 10 years, she’d never been mistaken — at least until now.

Read more on DesMoinesRegister.com