there were so many titles I could have chosen for this post but just thinking about it made the knots in my stomach come racing back. I'd much rather forget the events of yesterday but I feel like the right thing to do is to get my thoughts written down so maybe I'll stop replaying those awful five minutes over and over again in my mind.
It probably wasn't even a five minute ordeal, but at the time it felt like five thousand minutes. Whatever the length of time....all I know is that Sam was gone and I couldn't find him. He's six I kept saying over and over again. HE KNOW NOT TO JUST WALK OFF. In the crowded Mall of America my son had vanished. My friend started looking for him while I raced to the nearest vendor to ask them to call security. Her phone didn't work. I raced to the next place and went straight to the front of the line to explain what had happened. The guy finished helping the person who was waiting for his change. It felt like a year passed when someone else stepped up to call security. I told them where i'd be and continued to search the area. All I wanted to do was to grab people by the arm and scream "my son is six. He's missing. He's wearing a navy and red striped shirt". HELP!!
I have never been so scared in.my.entire.life. I thought the worst since he's old enough to know to stay where I can see him. I begged God to bring him back. I thought i'd never see him again. He was NOWHERE to be found in the immediate area. There are so many crazy people in the world and in my mind half of them were at the mall. (If you are local and familiar with the amusement park, picture 45 minute waits for the bounce house pinnapple kind of busy) It was BUSY! And my baby was gone. I wanted them to drop the (non existant) gates so nobody could get away with my Sam.
And then I saw him with my friend who, bless her heart, would not let him let go of her hand even though he wanted to. I would have done the same thing J! I ran up to him sobbing, not caring that I was making a scene. He was back. Thank you Jesus he was back in my arms and wondering what all the fuss was about. "You are the wierest person ever" were his words I think....I let the insult slide and went back to find security who was finally made an appreance. I thanked them for coming and explained that he had walked off when he saw his friends come out of the bounce house. Turns out he was with another friend of mine the whole time.
He said he forgot to tell me where he was going. I pray that he never ever does that again! This mama might not survive another panic attach like that!
Besides the obvious, don't walk off without telling a grown up where you are going rule, what safety measures do you take when in crowded public places?????
One thing that I have done at the state fair is to tell the kids to find someone in a uniform or another mom and show them the card I put in their pockets with all my contact information on it. We're working on memorizing phone numbers but when put on the spot, I want them to have it written down just in case.